Gregg Allman, Pioneer Of Southern Rock, Dies At 69
Greg Allman, the soulful rock singer who fronted The Allman Brothers Band, died Saturday. He was 69.
The musician died “peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” according to a statement on his official website.
"I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music," his manager Michael Lehman shared. "He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans.
"Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”
Allman had a history of health issues, including a 1999 diagnosis of hepatitis C. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010 and fought a serious case of pneumonia last August. The musician also had a long and well-publicized battle with drugs and alcohol.
A statement on his official Facebook page reads: "Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times."
Born in Nashville, Allman founded The Allman Brothers Band with older brother Duane and released a self-titled debut album in 1970.
Their musical success was dampened by personal tragedies, though. Duane died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24 and the band’s bassist Berry Oakley died a year later. (Earlier this year, founding member Butch Trucks took his own life. He was 69.)
"I've had lots of good times, too, and that's what I think of when I look back," Allman told the Los Angeles Times in a 1987 interview. "If I just thought about the bad things, I'd probably be in the rubber room."
Allman said music helps him get through the darkest times. "I hope on my death bed that I'm learning a new chord or writing a new song."
Allman’s band had hits like “Ramblin Man,” “Crazy Love,” “Straight From the Heart” and “Good Clean Fun.” As a solo artist, he spawned hits like “Midnight Rider” and “I’m No Angel.”
In concert, Allman liked to be behind his Hammond organ.
"Your music inspired generations of Southern rockers," tweeted South Carolina governor Henry McMaster. "You will be missed."
The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2012.
On Saturday, Cher tweeted: "IVE TRIED…WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE GUI GUI FOREVER, CHOOCH."
Tributes are pouring in on social media.
"I admire him so much & had the honour of jamming wth him recently," tweeted Peter Frampton. "A gentle soul with so much soul."
John Mayer tweeted: "Eternal love and life to Gregg Allman."
"My heart breaks today at the passing of soul brutha Gregg Allman," Keith Urban shared.
"He was such a huge influence on me," tweeted Travis Tritt.
Actor Chris Evans wrote: "Whipping Post on repeat all day today. RIP Gregg Allman. One of the greats."
Married six times, Allman is survived by wife Shannon as well as children Elijah Blue (his son with Cher) Michael, Devon, Delilah and Layla and three grandchildren.