David Crosby, Co-Founder of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash — Dead at 81

David Crosby dead

Photo Credit: Glenn Francis / CC by 4.0

David Crosby, singer-songwriter-guitarist and co-founder of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has died at 81.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist David Crosby, a founding member of two incredibly influential rock groups of the 1960s, the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash (and later, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), has died at the age of 81. His wife released a statement announcing the news of his passing.

“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,” the statement reads. 

“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. 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.”

Along with bandmates Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke, Crosby set the template for ’60s LA folk-rock in the Byrds during his rocky 1964-1967 tenure with the group. After bonding with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies in LA in the late ’60s, Crosby launched Crosby, Stills & Nash, whose 1968 debut popularized rock’s “supergroup” era.

Adding Stills’ Buffalo Springfield bandmate, Neil Young, granted the group additional luster and popularity. Still, the group’s constant clash of personalities led to its disbanding in the ’70s. Its members would regroup periodically throughout the years as a touring and recording unit. Crosby recorded and toured regularly with Nash — his most reliable collaborator — well into the 2000s. 

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