Speed Reads

rest in peace

David Crosby, co-founder of Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, dies at 81

David Crosby, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has died. He was 81.

The cause of death has not been released. Crosby was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 14, 1941. His father, Floyd, was an Oscar-winning cinematographer, while his mother, Aliph, was a poet and singer. From 1964 to 1967, Crosby made music with the Byrds, before forming Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies. The next year, along with the addition of Neil Young, they played at Woodstock. He was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for both bands — with the Byrds in 1991 and with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.

On social media, Nash wrote that "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. David was fearless in life and in music."

Crosby was open about his longtime drug use, the time he spent in prison on narcotics and weapons charges, and his liver transplant in 1994. He was also an avid Twitter user, posting as recently as Wednesday, when he joked about heaven, writing, "I heard the place is overrated....cloudy." He is survived by his wife, Jan; sons Django and James; and daughters Erika and Donovan. He was also the biological father of musician Melissa Etheridge's children with former partner Julie Cypher — Beckett, who died in 2020, and Bailey.