Ed King, former guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd and co-writer of hit Sweet Home Alabama has died, aged 68.
King died at home in Nashville, Tennessee. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, however Rolling Stone reported that the guitarist had recently been hospitalised for lung cancer.
The news was announced through a Facebook post to King’s page stating: “It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ed King who died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on August 22, 2018. We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career.”
The musician was born in Glendale, California in 1949 and was a founding member of ‘60s psychedelic group Strawberry Alarm Clock with hit singles such as Incense and Peppermints.
King later joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 and left in 1975 during the Torture Tour, after a rift with frontman Ronnie Van Zant, whom later died during a plane crash with three other members.
The band reformed in 1987 with King and Vant’s younger brother, Johnny. King later retired in 1996, after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
King’s bandmate Gary Rossington, and country musician Charlie Daniels released a statement to twitter on hearing the news of his passing:
I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened. Ed was our brother, and a great Songwriter and Guitar player. I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in Rock & Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and his family. -Gary Rossington— Lynyrd Skynyrd (@Skynyrd) August 23, 2018
In 2006, Lynyrd Skynyrd were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and King performed with the remaining members of the band.