“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away” Variety quoted his wife, Jan Dance, as saying in the statement.
Crosby’s UK-based representatives could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.
Crosby was a founding member of two rock bands: Byrds and CSNY. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both groups.
Neil Young, Graham Nash, David Crosby, and Stephen Stills of the band Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young pose at a press conference in New York on Oct. 12, 1999. (Peter Morgan/Reuters)
“I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby,” Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson said on Twitter.
In addition to drug addictions that ultimately led to a transplant to replace a liver worn out by decades of excess, his tumultuous life included a serious motorcycle accident, the death of a girlfriend, and battles against hepatitis C and diabetes.
“I’m concerned that the time I’ve got here is so short, and I’m pissed at myself, deeply, for the 10 years—at least—of time that I wasted just getting smashed,” Crosby told the Los Angeles Times in July 2019. “I’m ashamed of that.”
He fell “as low as a human being can go,” Crosby told the Times.
He also managed to alienate many of his famous former bandmates for which he often expressed remorse in recent years.
His drug habits and often abrasive personality contributed to the demise of CSNY and the members eventually quit speaking to each other. In the 2019 documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” he made clear he hoped they could work together again but conceded the others “really dislike me, strongly.”
Crosby was born on Aug. 14, 1941, in Los Angeles. His father was a cinematographer who won a Golden Globe for “High Noon” in 1952 and his mother exposed him to the folk group the Weavers and to classical music.