David Crosby, the legendary veteran rock star/singer has died at the age of 81 after years of battling with illnesses.
Singer and guitarist of the popular rock bands Byrds, and later the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) in the 1960s and ‘70s, David Crosby has been an iconic symbol of the rock and roll lifestyle.
He has battled drug addictions, liver disease, and other conditions during his illustrious career as a solo go-getter. Crosby is survived by his wife and 5 children.
David Crosby’s Family
David Crosby had fathered six children including two as a sperm donor with partner Julie Cypher, one of whom had died on May 2020 following complications from opioid addiction at the age of 21.
His first son with Celia Crawford Ferguson, James Raymond, was placed for adoption and was reunited with Crosby as an adult and collaborated with him on his band tours since 1997.
Crosby has two daughters – Erika (with Jacki Guthrie), Donovan (with Debbie Donovan), and a son Django Crosby with his wife Jan Dance.
Jan Dance reported the untimely demise of her husband after a long illness and being surrounded by his family. She added that his legacy will continue to live on through his legendary works of music.
More About His Work
Crosby was pivotal in the establishment of the two major bands, “The Byrds”, and “Crosby, Stills, and Nash”. He was well known for his versatile guitar-playing style and vocal harmonies, and for his sharp songwriting skills.
His collaborative works with both bands focused on rock and folk songs in innovative ways that resonated deeply with the hippie movement of the period.
His stellar performance in the growth trajectory of his bands shot him to international fame and being inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice in his career.
David Crosby gained popularity for his countercultural politics during the hippie movement which was expressed through his songwriting. He maintains that all his opinions were later proved right except his views on drugs at the time which were liberal. His six-decade-long career was signed off with his final album For Free, which was released in 2021.
He battled several hardships and tribulations during his life including his lifelong battles with drug addiction following the demise of his loving girlfriend, jail time, and several diseases.
Crosby later admitted that he was ashamed and regretted wasting a decade of his life “getting smashed”.
His frequent drug habits and blunt personality that covered his use, contributed to the eventual fallout with band members and disruptive strifes that lead to him leaving the band.
His solo career however thrived leading to single hits and successful tours later on. He would later try to recuperate with his old band members with Nash and but they declined to respond to his initiatives.
Crosby’s stardom became widespread in the mid-1960s with the Byrds getting national hits. His harmonies were pivotal in the band’s innovative reproduction of The Beatles and Bob Dylan music, and even helped George Harrison be introduced to Eastern Music.
David Crosby was sentenced to prison for nine months following his conviction of possessing cocaine and carrying a firearm. He emerged clean from his drug abuse after he was released and went on to marry Jan Dance in 1987.
His condition was getting worse with type 2 diabetes and hepatitis c that severely damaged his liver and required a transplant in 1994.
Born David Van Cortlandt Crosby in Los Angeles, he was the second son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby. He briefly attended the drama course at Santa Barbara City College before dropping out to pursue his music career.
It was reported by the Guardian in March 2021 that Crosby sold the recorded music and publishing rights to his whole music catalog to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group.