David Crosby, The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash Musician, Dead at 81

His wife confirmed the sad news in a statement on Thursday, in which she said Crosby died after a battle with a 'long illness.'

David Crosby, founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash has died. He was 81 years old.

In a statement shared with Variety on Thursday, his wife, Jan Dance, confirmed the sad news, revealing that the singer-songwriter guitarist died after a battle with a long illness.

"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," the statement read.

"His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched," the statement continued. "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 cryptically tweeted about heaven just one day before his death, retweeting a post from the account, Stifler's Mom, which questioned whether people with tattoos would be allowed into the pearly gates.

"I heard the place is overrated….cloudy," Crosby quipped in response to the tweet, which barred those with tattoos, a taste for alcohol and pork and short people, from going to heaven.

While a part of The Byrds, Crosby was joined by bandmates Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, where the group helped set the standard for '60s folk-rock in Los Angeles. Crosby was a part of the band from 1964 until 1967. 

It wasn't until the late '60s that he bonded with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies, ultimately going on to form Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN). The band was considered a "supergroup," with their debut album, Crosby, Stills & Nash, going multiplatinum after its release in 1968.

Neil Young would later join the group, which became known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Despite going their separate ways in the '70s, the bandmates would often reunite over the years to record and tour as a unit. Crosby’s most stable connection, however, was with Nash, with the duo recording and touring regularly into the 2000s. Their final album as a duo, a self-titled project, was released in 2004.

Crosby also had quite a successful solo career, releasing the albums Oh Yes I Can in 1989 and Thousand Roads in 1993. His last solo recording, Croz, was released in 2014.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of The Byrds in 1991 and Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.

Crosby is survived by his wife, Jan, and their son, Django, as well as a son, James Raymond, and two daughters, Erika and Donovan, from previous relationships. Crosby is also the biological father of two of musician Melissa Etheridge's children, serving as the sperm donor for Etheridge and her then-partner, Julie Cypher. Their son, Beckett, died in 2020 after struggling with an opioid addiction.