Bret Michaels, Travis Tritt and Peter Frampton Honor the Late Gary Rossington

Artists are paying tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington.

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Rossington, the revered guitarist who was the last founding member of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Sunday (March 5) at the age of 71. Rossington’s death was confirmed on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Facebook page.

“It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today,” the band stated. “Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does. Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

After the news broke, tributes started pouring in from Rossington’s contemporaries. Among those artists is Bret Michaels. The singer posted a throwback photo on Twitter of him posing with Rossington and Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of former lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant who took over as lead singer a decade after Ronnie died in the tragic 1977 plane crash.

“I send this with all of my heart, prayers & condolences to the family, friends & fans of Gary Rossington,” Michaels writes. “On behalf of my family, he brought a lot of great music & many great memories to so many people. May he rest in peace.”

Peter Frampton also took to Twitter to share his condolences, a day after he paid tribute to fellow acclaimed musician, David Lindley, who passed away on March 3. “This cannot be! My heart breaks for Dale Rossington and the entire Skynryd family today,” Frampton writes, referencing Rossington’s wife Dale. “We have been friends since first touring together in the 70s. We will miss you my friend. Gary Rossington RIP.”

Country star Travis Tritt also took a moment to reflect on his friendship with Rossington. “I just learned that my dear friend, Gary Rossington passed away today,” Tritt shares. “I’m heartbroken! Gary was not only a friend, but a collaborator that wrote songs with me and played guitar with me in studio recordings and onstage so many times. My heart goes out to Dale and the girls. RIP.”

Another country connection to Rossington is the late Charlie Daniels, whose wife Hazel and son Charlie Daniels, Jr. took to the singer’s Twitter to post a commemorative statement. “The last of the Free Birds has flown home,” the mother and son write while quoting lyrics from Daniels’ song, “Reflections.” “RIP Gary Rossington, God Bless the Lynyrd @Skynyrd band. Prayers to Dale and the rest of his family.”

“Gary Rossington has left,” Sons of Anarchy actor Titus Welliver shared on Twitter. “One of the greatest and pioneer of a style and sound that is timeless and forever cherished. RIP Gary, play it pretty …”

Photo by Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images

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