US Rock Legend David Crosby Dies Aged 81

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Born on 14 August 1941 to Oscar-winning Hollywood cinematographer Floyd Crosby, Crosby was renowned for his guitar-playing and vocal harmonies and also became known for his countercultural politics, trademark moustache, and his musicianship

Veteran US folk-rock star David Crosby has died at the age of 81, his representative has confirmed.

The exact cause of Crosby’s death was not immediately known, but his wife said he died “after a long illness” while surrounded by family, adding: “His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.”

The Californian-born, who achieved the rare feat of being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, helped set up two major bands in the 1960s: The Byrds – a folk-rock group that scored its first hit with a cover of Bob Dylan’s Tambourine Man – and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Crosby joined The Byrds in 1964, but his tempestuous tenure culminated in his being fired from the group three years later. Crosby, Stills and Nash came together as a supergroup soon afterward, and performed at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969.

They were later joined by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young, but the band broke up after a few years due to infighting.

During his time in the band, Crosby wrote hits that included the hippy anthems Almost Cut My Hair and Deja Vu. A 60-year career culminated in his final album, For Free, released in 2021.

The record saw the rock legend team up with one of his children, James Raymond, who had been put up for adoption soon after birth and only became acquainted with his father 30 years later.

Off-stage, Crosby had multiple run-ins with US law enforcement, including an arrest in 1982 on drug and weapons charges. His substance abuse had reportedly intensified after the death of a girlfriend in a car accident when he was a young man.

The musician’s reputation for a hedonistic lifestyle saw him named two decades later as “rock’s unlikeliest survivor” by Rolling Stone magazine, but he later expressed regret over his addictions and altercations with co-stars, telling the Los Angeles Times in 2019 he was “ashamed” of some of his past behaviours.

Former bandmate Graham Nash, who expressed his “profound sadness” at Crosby’s death, said his late collaborator was “fearless in life and in music” and left behind a “tremendous void”.

Nash acknowledged that they had a “volatile” relationship but said, “what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together”.