Gregg Allman dead at 69; award-winning musician co-founded influential Allman Brothers Band

May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman, who co-founded the Allman Brothers Band and was the band’s lead singer for several years, died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, on May 27, 2017, according to the Associated Press. He was 69. The cause of death is pending an autopsy, but Allman had been ill health for several years prior to his death. In 2016, he cancelled several concert dates. And in March 2017, he cancelled his remaining concert dates.

Allman formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 with his older brother Duane Alllman, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24 in 1971. The band’s original bass player Berry Oakley died in 1972, also from a motorcycle accident at the age of 24, just a few blocks from where Duane Allman died. Before and after these tragedies, the Alllman Brothers Band became one of the most influential groups to pioneer the “Southern rock” sound, which mixed blues and rock. The band’s best-known songs included “Midnight Rider,” “Ramblin’ Man,” “Whipping Post” and “Melissa.” The Allman Brothers Band broke up and reunited several times before the final breakup in 2014.

Gregg Allman wasn’t the only original member of the Allman Brothers Band to die this year. Longtime drummer Butch Trucks committed suicide on January 24, 2017. He was also 69.

Gregg Allman had been married seven times and fathered at least five children. He married his seventh and last wife, Shannon, in 2013. His most famous marriage was to Cher, from 1975 to 1979. Their son, Elijah Blue Allman, is also a musician.

In 2012, Gregg Allman’s memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” was released in which he discussed his often turbulent personal life, including his long battle with drug addiction and alcoholism. The book had been optioned for a film called “Midnight Rider,” starring William Hurt as the older Gregg Allman and All-American Rejects singer Tyson Ritter as a young Gregg Allman. The film was cancelled after a crew member was hit by a train on the movie’s set in 2014.

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