Rockers Mourn the Death of Original Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington
The band confirmed that the 71-year-old guitarist had died yesterday (March 5) through a statement shared on social media.
"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. 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," wrote the group.
Online, rock and metal musicians, as well as other notable community members, have paid tribute to the late rocker, who appeared on each of Skynyrd's 14 studio albums, the last being 2012's Last of a Dyin' Breed.
Metallica's James Hetfield writes a personal message that has been shared on the band's Instagram page, alongside a photo of the frontman joined onstage by Rossington at the metal icons' 30th anniversary show.
"RIP Brother Gary," begins Papa Het, "Thank you bringing me so much joy with our guitar playing and songwriting in one of my all time favorite bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd."
Others, including Zakk Wylde, Journey's Neal Schon, Motorhead's Phil Campbell, Guns N' Roses' Richard Fortus all lamented the loss as did country notables Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Travis Tritt and Will Hoge, as seen below.
Currently, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top have a North American summer tour booked together, the latter carrying on with longtime tech Elwood Francis in place of late bassist and co-singer Duty Hill since the summer of 2021. View those dates here.