Bluegrass Musician J.D. Crowe Dies At 84

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J.D. Crowe, the influential Grammy-winning bluegrass musician, died on Christmas Eve. He was 84.

“We've lost a legend,” read a tweet by the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, into which Crowe was inducted in 2003. “Crowe was an innovator on the banjo and influenced countless musicians with his technique and style.”

A cause of death was not immediately disclosed but Bluegrass Today reported on Dec. 17 that Crowe was “in a rehab center” after being hospitalized in late November but was expected to be home by Christmas.

Born in Kentucky, Crowe’s music career began in the 1950s and included stints with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys and Mac Wiseman. His own band, the Kentucky Mountain Boys, became the New South.

Crowe won a Grammy in 1983 for Best Country Instrumental Performance (for “Fireball”) and Lefty’s Old Guitar by The New South was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album in 2007.

A new collection of music, some of which he recorded in the ‘90s with Rickey Wasson, was released this month.

“He was an absolute legend,” tweeted bluegrass guitarist Billy Strings. “He will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play bluegrass music. He had tone, taste and TIMING like no other.”

Crowe is survived by his wife Sheryl, children David and Stacey, and granddaughter Kylee.