Multiple reports state that musical pioneer and Hall of Famer David Crosby died January 19, 2023 at the age of 81. In a statement, his wife said that Crosby was with his wife and son at the time of his death.
Crosby founded The Byrds and later the band that carries his name Crosby, Stills and Nash in the sixties. The long haired hippie Crosby was one of the most influential songwriters in the folk rock era. Along with forming the bands, Crosby also wrote a number of the songs for the band. The CSN debut album was certified four times platinum for selling over four million copies. The next two albums also went multi platinum. Crosby earned his lone Grammy award for Best New Artist as a part of Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
Through the years Crosby appeared with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, and Nash reunions; as well as, a solo career. Crosby is a two time member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Byrds and Crosby, Still, and Nash.
After the death of girlfriend Christine Hinton in an automobile accident, Crosby developed a drug habit that resulted in a jail sentence and numerous health issues that ended in a liver transplant in 1994 and heart issues.
It was revealed that David Crosby was the sperm donor for Julie Cypher and Melissa Etheridge’s two children.
At an age when most rockers are settling down and looking to retire, Crosby kept writing and recording. Speaking on his late life career resurgence, Crosby said, “I’m supposed to be wandering off into the sunset hand-in-hand with my wife. But I’m not. I’ve made four records in the last four years. I’m full of songs. I’m full of life. I’m having a blast. I’m singing as well as I’ve ever sung in my life. I’m writing really well. I’ve got tons of really great writing partners. The music is just flowing out of me. So, that’s an aberration. That’s a really unusual circumstance. …I did have a head of steam built up, because the last 10 years when I was in CS&N, we weren’t really friends, and I didn’t feel I could take songs there. But it’s really more I think about the people that I’ve been working with: Michael League, my son James Raymond, Becca Stevens, Michelle Willis. … They’re as good of writers as I can find in the world, and that is inspiring stuff, man. That brings out the very best in me. I love what I do. I love making music, but I love even more teaming up with somebody who thinks of stuff I didn’t think of.”
Speaking on his songwriting, Crosby said, “my songs emerge from my life, or wherever they do, unbidden and unplanned and completely on a schedule of their own. I can’t legislate a song into being, it just will not happen for me.
Best known for his music, Crosby also appeared or voiced a handful of film and television productions including “Chicago Hope”, the sit-com “Ellen”, “The Simpsons”, “Thunderheart”, “Roseanne”, “Hook”, and “Backdraft”.
David Van Cortlandt Crosby was born August 14, 1941 in Los Angeles, the son of Academy award winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby. As a child he was exposed to various musical styles and sometimes would join in with his parents and brother in making music. After learning to play guitar from his brother, a teen aged Crosby began his professional musical career playing in local clubs in Santa Barbara where the family lived.
Crosby is survived by his wife of over 35 years Jan and son Django; as well as children from previous relationships James Raymond, Erika, and Donovan.
Feature photo credit: CSNY 8-1974 (2).jpg