Crosby, Stills & Nash Cofounder Dead at 81


Legendary Crosby, Stills & Nash cofounder David Crosby had died. He was 81.

The singer’s wife, Jan Dance, confirmed the news of his passing in a statement to Variety on Thursday, January 19.

“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,” the statement read. “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 initially rose to fame as a singer and guitarist for The Byrds in 1964. The band — which also featured Gene Clark, Rogen McGuinn and Chris Hillman — released multiple chart-topping singles in their first few years, including the Bob Dylan cover “Mr. Tambourine Man” and their own “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

After his exit from the folk-rock group in 1968, Crosby subsequently formed Crosby, Stills & Nash with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The release of their debut album, CSN, won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1969 and the band was featured at Woodstock. Neil Young would later join the group for live performances and the band would later become Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Crosby, Stills & Nash Cofounder Dead at 81

David Crosby
Larry Marano/Shutterstock

CSN recorded three gold albums over the years, with Cosby cowriting some of their biggest hits, including “Lady Friend,” “Everybody’s Been Burned” and “Why.” The songwriter was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame on two separate occasions, once for his work in the Byrds in 1991, and again for his work with CSN in 1997.

Offstage Crosby welcomed his first son, James Raymond, with ex Celia Crawford Ferguson in 1962. While James was placed for adoption by the couple at the time, the musician ultimately reunited with his son as an adult and the pair performed together on various occasions over the years.

In addition to James, Crosby had three other children: daughter Erika, whom he shared with Jackie Guthrie, daughter Donovan, whom he welcomed with former girlfriend Debbie Donovan, and son Django, whom the “In My Dreams” artist and Dance, 69, welcomed after they tied the knot in May 1987. The pair conceived Django via IVF infertility treatments after Crosby discovered his liver was failing.

In January 2000, Melissa Etheridge revealed that Crosby was her and then-partner Julie Cypher’s sperm donor and the biological father of their two children, Beckett and Bailey Cypher. In May 2020, Ethridge, 61, revealed Beckett had died at age 21 from a drug overdose.

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