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David Crosby, the legendary singer-songwriter, has died at the age of 81.

David Crosby, the legendary singer-songwriter and founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, died Thursday, according to a source close to the musician. He was 81.

Crosby, a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, died after a long illness, according to his wife in a Variety statement.

“He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan, and son Django,” she said. “Despite the fact that he is no longer with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legendary music will continue to carry on his legacy.”

Former bandmate Graham Nash recalled the focus on their sometimes-fractious relationship — Crosby lashed out at him publicly as recently as two years ago in an interview with The Guardian — but he said the “pure joy” of making music with Crosby was what mattered most in a Facebook post.

“In life and in music, David was fearless,” Nash said. “He leaves a huge void in terms of sheer personality and talent in this world. Through his beautiful music, he expressed his mind, heart, and passion, and he leaves an incredible legacy. These are the most important considerations.”

Another former band member, Stephen Stills, recalled clashes with Crosby, saying in a statement from his manager that such conflict left them with “numb skulls.”

“I was relieved to be at peace with him,” he explained. “He was without a doubt a musical giant, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of brilliant.”

Crosby’s final album, “Live at the Capitol Theater,” was released last month. He described the performance captured on the recording as “magical” in an interview with the website ultimateclassicrock.com.

Crosby, who was born in Los Angeles, became a member of the Byrds in 1964. With Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” they had their first hit.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was formed in 1968, a year after Crosby left the Byrds. The band went on to have several hits, including “Marrakesh Express,” “Just a Song Before I Go,” “Woodstock,” and others.

“Looking Forward,” the band’s debut album, was released in 1999.

Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once with the Byrds in 1991 and again with Crosby, Stills, and Nash six years later.

In an interview last month, he stated that he was no longer touring due to tendinitis in both hands.

Crosby received a liver transplant in 1994 after decades of drug use, and he lived through diabetes, hepatitis C, and heart surgery in his 70s.

His previous drug use had left him bloated, broke, and isolated. During a year in prison in Texas on drug and weapons charges in 1985 and 1986, he overcame his addiction. The conviction was eventually reversed.

“I’ve always said that I picked up the guitar as a shortcut to sex, and after my first joint, I was convinced that if everyone smoked dope, war would end,” Crosby said in his 1988 autobiography, “Long Time Gone,” co-written with Carl Gottlieb. “I was correct on the sex. When it came to drugs, I was completely wrong.”

He lived for many more years than he expected, and in his 70s, he experienced a creative renaissance, releasing several solo albums while collaborating with others, including his son James Raymond, who became a favourite songwriting partner.

“Most guys my age would have done a covers record or duets on old material,” he told Rolling Stone shortly before the release of “Croz” in 2013. “This isn’t going to be a big hit. It’ll most likely sell nineteen copies. I don’t think kids will like it, but I’m not going to make it for them. I’m doing it for myself. “I have some things I need to get off my chest.”

In 1987, Crosby married his longtime girlfriend Jan Dance. Django, the couple’s son, was born in 1995. Crosby and Debbie Donovan had a daughter, Donovan. Crosby was reunited with Raymond, who had been placed for adoption in 1961, shortly after undergoing the liver transplant. Raymond, Crosby, and Jeff Pevar later formed a band called CPR.

“I regretted losing him many times,” Crosby said of Raymond in 1998 to The Associated Press. “I was too immature and irresponsible to parent anyone.”

Melissa Etheridge revealed in 2000 that Crosby was the father of her two children with then-partner Julie Cypher. Etheridge told Rolling Stone that Cypher carried the children Crosby fathered through artificial insemination. Beckett, one of the sons, died in 2020.

Crosby did not contribute to the children’s upbringing. “It’s great if, you know, in time, at a distance, they’re proud of who their genetic father is,” he said.

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