Ed King 'The Southern Rock Pioneer' and the co-writer of 'Sweet Home Alabama' dies at 68

24 August 2018, 08:02 AM
Ed King 'The Southern Rock Pioneer' and the co-writer of 'Sweet Home Alabama' dies at 68
Ed King 'The Southern Rock Pioneer' and the co-writer of 'Sweet Home Alabama' dies at 68

Ed King, the southern rock pioneer from the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Thursday. The news of his demise was announced on his official Facebook page account. The co-writer of Southern rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama,” died at his home in Nashville. The cause of death was not revealed but rock music bible Rolling Stone said he had been battling lung cancer. The former rock star was 68 when he breathed his last.

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The Facebook post of the official band account read, “It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ed King who died at his home in Nashville, Tennesse on August 22nd, 2018. We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support for Ed during his life and career.”

Guitarist Gary Rossington took to Lynyrd Skynyrd's official Twitter account to voice his shock over King's death. "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," he wrote.

King, originally from California, spent three years in the band in the early 1970s, appearing on three albums, but quit after bust-ups with frontman Ronnie Van Zant. The band broke up after a 1977 plane crash that killed three of its members, including Van Zant. It reformed with King on board in 1987, with Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, on lead vocals.

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King retired nine years into the reunion period and subsequently suffered various health problems. He was one of three writers of the anthemic "Sweet Home Alabama," from the 1974 album "Second Helping", and can be heard counting in the band at the start of the track. 

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As the news of the guitarist's death reached his friends and fans, tributes started pouring in.

First Published: Friday, August 24, 2018 07:19 AM
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