David Crosby, the singer/songwriter and guitarist behind The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has died at 81, sources close to Crosby have confirmed. Billboard.
Crosby was a founding member of The Byrds, who earned two Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 songs in 1965 with “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
In 1968, he formed Crosby, Stills & Nash alongside Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. Their self-titled debut album spawned two top 40 Hot 100 hits — “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (No. 21) and “Marrakesh Express” (No. 28) — and the trio won the Grammy for best new artist in 1969. Neil Young was an informal fourth member for occasional live performances, when the group would go by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The core trio stayed active through 2016.
Crosby has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, for his work in The Byrds and in Crosby, Stills & Nash.
In 2019, Cameron Crowe produced a documentary about the cantankerous rock icon called Remember My Name. In an interview about the warts-and-all doc, Crosby explained to Billboard why it made sense that his Byrds bandmate Roger McGuinn called him “insufferable.”
“I can be contentious. Opinionated. I’m comfortable with that,” Crosby conceded. “When you’re in a relationship like that in a band, it’s like a marriage… you start out, you love each other, you love each other’s music. You’re thrilled that you’re doing this, and every time you play music, you feel brotherhood with the other guys. In CSNY with Neil [Young] and Graham [Nash] and Stephen [Stills], we were a competitive band. Not cooperative/competitive. We were also very shitty to each other over and over and over again, unkind and disloyal.”
Crosby earned 10 Grammy nominations in his lifetime — including a best music film nod for Remember My Name — but the CSN best new artist prize was his lone win.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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