Legendary ’60s rocker David Crosby dead at 81 after ‘long illness’

Music legend David Crosby has died aged 81.

The singer-songwriter and prolific guitarist was a founding member of two massive rock groups in the 1960s; The Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Crosby had such an impact on the music industry, he was even inducted to the revered Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

In a statement to Variety, Crosby’s wife of 35 years, Jan Dance, revealed the influential musician died after a long illness, shocking fans who had been keeping up with him online.

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David Crosby at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on September 25, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away,” the statement read.

“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.”

“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,” the statement continued.

“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.”

Crosby was posting to his Twitter account as usual in the days leading up to his death, with his passing coming as a shock to many longtime fans.

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David Crosby attends the International Myeloma Foundation's 7th Annual Comedy Celebration Benefiting The Peter Boyle Research Fund hosted by Ray Romano at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre on November 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

In 2022 he announced he was ”too old” to continue performing live, revealing: “I’m too old to do it anymore. I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength.”

Though he later suggested he’d be open to returning to the stage in the future, his focus was on recording music, which he was doing at a “startling rate”.

In a sad twist, Crosby also said at the time, ”Now I’m 80 years old, so I’m gonna die fairly soon. That’s how that works.

“And 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.”

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The last time he released new music before his death was in July, 2021 when he released For Free, his eighth and final studio album.

Prior to his marriage to Dance in 1987, Crosby fathered a son with Celia Crawford Ferguson in 1962, who they named James Raymond.

Raymond was put up for adoption but reunited with Crosby as an adult and has since performed with his father Crosby on stage and in the studio. They even toured together.

He also had a daughter named Erika with former flame Jackie Guthrie, and a daughter named Donovan Crosby with former girlfriend, Debbie Donovan.

Crosby and wife Dance underwent extensive fertility treatments to welcome their son Django Crosby.

In 2000, fellow singer Melissa Etheridge revealed that Crosby was the sperm donor of two children with her partner Julie Cypher, Beckett and Bailey Jean.

Beckett tragically died of causes related to opioid addiction in 2020. He was just 21.