David Van Cortlandt Crosby was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, and also embarked on a solo career. Crosby joined the Byrds in 1964. They had their first number-one hit in 1965 with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”.
David Crosby, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist who helped shape the sound of Sixties rock and beyond, died Wednesday night at the age of 81. A source close to Crosby confirmed the musician’s death on January 18th, 2023.
Crosby was a founding member of the Byrds, playing guitar and contributing harmony vocals to their most enduring songs, including “Eight Miles High,” “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Shortly after being forced out of the group due to personality conflicts with frontman Roger McGuinn, he formed the supergroup Crosby, Stills, and Nash with Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills and Graham Nash of the Hollies. The trio — which became a quartet in 1969 when Neil Young joined their ranks — played a major role in the development of folk rock, country rock, and the emergent “California sound” that dominated rock radio throughout the mid-Seventies. Croz wrote many of their most beloved tunes, including “Almost Cut My Hair,” “Long Time Gone,” and “Déjà Vu.”
“It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” Crosby’s former bandmate Nash wrote in a statement. “I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.”
“He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius,” Stills remembered in a message to Rolling Stone. “The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun. I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure.”
“I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby,” Brian Wilson wrote. “David was an unbelievable talent — such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words.”