David Crosby, of The Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash, Dead at 81

David Crosby, a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has died. He was 81 years old.

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Crosby’s wife issued a statement writing, “It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us.”

She continued, “His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”

No cause of death has been revealed as of publication time, but he was active on his social media accounts as recently as yesterday (Jan. 18).

Born in Los Angeles, Crosby founded The Byrds in 1964. The group – also featuring Gene Clark, Reogen McGuinn and Chris Hillman – found their first No. 1 hit a year later with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” The Byrds were a major influence on the L.A. folk scene and would eventually help establish the country-rock genre in Laural Canyon. Crosby spent four years with the group before parting ways in 1968.

He found even more success with his next group. In 1989, Crosby teamed up with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash to form the iconic supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their self-titled debut shot straight up the charts upon its release. The LP featured classic hits like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Marrakech Express.” The album has sold more than four million copies in the U.S. alone.

Neil Young joined the outfit in 1970. Continuing on as a quartet, the group found similar success with three consecutive No. 1 albums: Déjà Vu, 4-Way Street and So Far. Among the albums are classic tracks like “Teach Your Children,” “Ohio,” “Carry On” and “Our House.”

Crosby put out his first solo album in 1971, If Only I Could Remember My Name. He and the rest of the CSNY members would go on to carry on separate careers, occasionally crossing paths. Crosby and Nash teamed up as a duo in 1972.

He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice. Once as a member of the Byrds in 1991 and again with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.

Eight months ago, Crosby made headlines by declaring he was done performing live. “I’m too old to do it anymore. I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength,” he said.

Despite leaving the tour circuit, he did say he was trying to keep as busy as possible in the studio. “That’s how that works,” he said. “So I’m trying really hard to crank out as much music as I possibly can, as long as it’s really good… I have another one already in the can waiting.”

Photo: Anna Webber / Republic Media

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