Rock legend David Crosby dies aged 81

David Crosby has passed away at the age of 81 credit:Bang Showbiz
David Crosby has passed away at the age of 81 credit:Bang Showbiz

David Crosby has died at the age of 81.

The rock legend - who was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash - was surrounded by family when he passed away after a "long illness".

In a statement to Variety, his family said: "It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django.

"Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. 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 joined the Byrds in 1964, as they quickly became one of the biggest bands in the world. Their hits included a cover of the Bob Dylan track 'Tambourine Man'.

However, Crosby left the group in acrimonious circumstances in 1967 and he subsequently formed Crosby, Stills and Nash with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.

The trio performed together for the first time at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969, and they were later joined by Neil Young.

Crosby, Stills and Nash enjoyed huge success in the 70s, and they're still widely recognised as one of the most influential groups of the era.

However, their success came against the backdrop of in-fighting among the bandmates, which led to them breaking up and then periodically reforming to perform together.

Outside of music, Crosby was politically outspoken and often controversial. He had even numerous run-ins with the law during his life, including in 1982 when he was arrested on drug and weapons charges.

The music icon - who also released six solo albums, five of which charted - was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on two occasions, for his work with the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.