David Crosby, an influential singer-songwriter and a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has died. He was 81.
His wife, Jan Dance, broke the news with “great sadness,” saying the acclaimed musician passed after suffering from an illness for a “long” time, according to Variety.
“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away,” she said in the statement. “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,” she added, reflecting on her husband of 36 years. “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.”
She asked for privacy for herself and Crosby’s family as they “grieve” their “profound loss.”
Crosby died after a “long” illness, his wife revealed.Getty Images
Crosby suffered from addiction and later needed a liver transplant after contracting hepatitis C.Getty Images
Crosby was the subject of a documentary about his storied life, titled “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” a film he called “brutally honest” in a 2019 interview with The Post.
“It’s about how I became who I am,” he said at the time. “And it isn’t all pretty.”
With the height of rock and roll fame also came, unfortunately, an extensive bout with addiction, struggling with cocaine and alcohol abuse that prompted a liver transplant in the 1990s. Crosby was also arrested in 1982 in Texas for drugs and weapons, resulting in a brief stint in prison in 1986.
“I’m concerned that the time I’ve got here is so short, and I’m pissed at myself, deeply, for the 10 years — at least — of time that I wasted just getting smashed,” Crosby told the Los Angeles Times in a 2019 interview, saying he was “as low as a human can go … I’m ashamed of that.”
The influential rocker was 81 years old.Mike Windle
In a 2002 interview with The Post, Crosby said he was feeling “very healthy” and talked about receiving a liver donation seven years prior after he was ravaged by hepatitis C.
The disease was not curable at the time Crosby contracted it or when he received his liver transplant.
“I have seven extra years on my life after I was supposed to be dead,” the thankful musician said. “It’s a slow-moving disease, and it’ll take another 20 years for it to kill this liver. I’ll take the 20 years. Hep C is one of the worst problems the world has to face.”
After his time with the Byrds, Crosby created the group Crosby, Stills & Nash.ASSOCIATED PRESS
Being a member of the Byrds was Crosby’s first taste of the limelight.Michael Ochs Archives
Crosby also famously donated sperm to singer Melissa Etheridge and her former partner, the late Julie Cypher, who became parents to two children, Bailey and Beckett, with his help. His son Beckett later died of a drug overdose in 1998 at the age of 21.
“Melissa and Julie are good people, nice set of values, they’re funnier than s–t, and they got courage,” he told The Post in the 2002 interview. “All rare stuff.”
Etheridge shared a touching tribute to her longtime friend on social media Thursday.
“I am grieving the loss of my friend and Bailey’s biological father, David. He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan,” she wrote. “His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure.”
Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson said he was “heartbroken” and lauded his music world colleague on Twitter.
“I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby,” wrote Wilson, 80. “David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends. Love, Brian”
I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends. Love, Brian pic.twitter.com/Hjht7LeGiv
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) January 19, 2023
Iconic rockers The Doors also posted a remembrance of Crosby.
“The world has lost yet another ethereal fixture of the ‘60s peace and love movement; a legend within his own right, and every group he was a part of,” the band wrote. “Coming up in the same era as The Doors, David Crosby had the voice and song writing abilities that made him completely unique…”
The world has lost yet another ethereal fixture of the ‘60s peace and love movement; a legend within his own right, and every group he was a part of. Coming up in the same era as The Doors, David Crosby had the voice and song writing abilities that made him completely unique… pic.twitter.com/Rl9AFDEe7z
— The Doors (@TheDoors) January 19, 2023
Crosby and his fellow bandmates — Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke — comprised the folk-rock quartet the Byrds, but he only lasted in the group from 1964 to 1967.
During his short-lived stint with Byrds, he sang on a number of the band’s hits including “Mr. Tambourine Man” – the EP of the same name topped charts – and “Turn! Turn! Turn!“
Upon meeting Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, the trio formed the later-multi-platinum Crosby, Stills & Nash. Then, Neill Young joined to make Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
In addition to winning Best New Artist at the 1969 Grammy Awards as the Crosby, Stills & Nash trio, Crosby’s success also earned him two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of the Byrds in ’91, and again in ’97 with Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Crosby had a longtime “beef” with his former bandmate Neil Young, one that he said he expected would remain fractured in a 2021 interview with The Guardian, acknowledging that it was about “petty-a–ed bulls–t that goes on between us as people.”
At the time, Crosby said their ideologies conflicted.
“I’m a very liberal guy and a modern thinker in terms of politics. Neil doesn’t really do politics. He does Neil,” Crosby said, adding that Young was “probably the most self-centered, self-obsessed, selfish person I know. He only thinks about Neil, period. That’s the only person he’ll consider. Ever!”
Of Nash, Crosby said he also still had issues with that former bandmate.
“Graham just changed from the guy I thought was my best friend to being a guy that is definitely my enemy, so I don’t see any future there at all,” he told The Guardian.
Nash remembered his friend, however, with “deep and profound sadness” on Instagram on Thursday, saying he “was fearless in life and in music.”
“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,” Nash wrote.
“He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy.”
Crosby, Stills & Nash brought the late rocker his prolific career.
He went on to craft a solo career after his stint in the two iconic bands.Redferns
Following his pre-2000s fame and split from the band, he went on to tour and record music as a solo act.
His latest collaborative album was “Live at the Capitol Theatre,” which featured the track “1974,” a “long-lost demo track” that resurfaced.
Last summer, Crosby even admitted that he was “too old” to be rocking out onstage any longer.
“I think I’m too old to tour anymore….sadly,” the singer revealed on Twitter.
He last performed in February 2022 — the first time in three years — during a surprise set in Santa Barbara, California.
“Was soooooooooo goooood to play with people who love it,” Crosby tweeted after the gig.
Crosby briefly pulled his catalog of music from Spotify last year as a protest against controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.
“Melissa and Julie are good people, nice set of values, they’re funnier than s–t, and they got courage,” he told The Post in a previous interview.Getty Images
Despite the troubles of touring and getting older Crosby seemed to be acutely aware that his time was running out, telling The Guardian in 2021 that he was “happy” in life.
“I’m in a peculiar place, man. I’m right at the end of my life. I don’t have a lot of time left. I don’t know if I’ve found my way, but I do know I feel happy,” he told The Guardian in 2021. “I love my family, and the music’s coming to me. So, despite the fact that the world is in a shaky spot, I feel pretty damned good.”
This is a developing story.