Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby passed away Thursday, according to a statement issued by his wife to Variety. He was 81.
“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away,” read the statement. “Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.” It continues, “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.”
Born in Los Angeles in 1941, Crosby launched his career as a member of the Byrds, joining the band in 1964 and appearing on their first five albums. In 1968, along with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies, he formed Crosby, Stills & Nash, which released their self-titled debut in 1969. The group went on to win the Grammy for Best New Artist that year. They were later joined by Neil Young and performed their second-ever gig together at Woodstock. Their first album as a foursome, 1970’s Déjà Vu, went to number one.
In addition, Crosby & Nash released four albums together and Crosby had a prolific solo career, releasing his first solo album, If I Could Remember My Name, in 1971. In 1996 he also formed the group CPR, aka Crosby, Pevar & Raymond, with guitarist Jeff Pevar and pianist James Raymond. Raymond was his son, whom he gave up for adoption in 1962 and reunited with as an adult.
As a songwriter, Crosby wrote or co-wrote such songs as CSN’s “Wooden Ships,” “Guinevere” and “Longtime Gone,” as well as CSNY’s “Almost Cut My Hair” and “Déjà Vu." He also wrote the Byrds tracks “Lady Friend” and “Everybody’s Been Burned."
Crosby, a longtime outspoken political activist, was a 10-time Grammy nominee with one win. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 with the Byrds and in 1997 with CSN. A documentary about his life, David Crosby: Remember My Name, produced by Cameron Crowe, was released in 2019.
The rocker had a history of drug and health problems over the years, although he was also a longtime advocate for cannabis and even launched his own cannabis brand, Mighty Croz. In 1994 he received a liver transplant following a long battle with hepatitis C, although it caused some controversy because people questioned how someone with a known history of drug and alcohol problems was able to get a new kidney. In 2022, he revealed that he suffered from tendonitis that was preventing him from playing guitar.
Crosby was the father of four children: Raymond with Celia Crawford Ferguson; daughter Erika with Jackie Guthrie; daughter Donovan with former girlfriend Debbie Donovan; and son Django with wife Jan Dance. In addition, Melissa Etheridge revealed in 2000 that Crosby was the sperm donor for the two children she had with ex-partner Julie Cypher: son Beckett, who died of an overdose in 2020, and daughter Bailey.