Legendary rock singer David Crosby dead at 81. Months before his death, he quit live performances, saying ‘I don’t have the strength.’

David Crosby in LA in July 2019.

David Crosby performing in Los Angeles in July 2019.Scott Dudelson / Getty contributor

  • Singer-songwriter David Crosby passed away at the age of 81 on Thursday.

  • Crosby co-founded two iconic 1960s bands: The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

  • Crosby was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice in 1991 and again in 1997.

David Crosby, one of the most influential singers and songwriters of the 1960s, has died at the age of 81, his wife confirmed to Variety on Thursday.

The veteran rocker cofounded two of the biggest bands of the 1960s: The Byrds and Crosby, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

“His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music,” his wife said in a statement to Variety. “Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”

Crosby was born in Los Angeles, California in 1941 as the son of Oscar-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, who won an Oscar for his work on the 1931 film “Tabu” and Aliph Van Cortlandt Whitehead, a Macy’s department store salesperson.

He joined the Byrds in 1964, which scored their first hit with Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Crosby, Stills & Nash, which became Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young once Neil Young joined, were founded the following year and released a series of hits including “Marrakesh Express,” “Just a Song Before I Go,” and “Woodstock.”

While Crosby’s success continued into 1980s, heavy drug use hurt his career and led to a nine-month jail sentence in a Texas state prison in 1985.

“I have no idea how I’m alive and Jimi [Hendrix] isn’t and Janis [Joplin] isn’t and all my other friends,” he told Rolling Stone in 2014, years after he’d cleaned up. “I have no idea why me, but I got lucky.”

Crosby continued making music and touring afterward for another three decades, cementing his reputation as one of the most noteworthy musicians of the 20th century. He announced he would retire from touring in May 2022.

“I’m too old to do it anymore,” he told Best Classic Bands. “I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength.”

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

He is survived by his wife Jan Dance, their son Django, son James Raymond, and two daughters, Erika and Donovan, from previous relationships.

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