Gregg Allman, rock trailblazer, dies at 69

Gregg AllmanImage copyright
BBC/Ear Goggles Production

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The lead singer of the Allman Brothers died at home in Georgia

Rock trailblazer Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, has died age 69.

Allman died at home in Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday, his official website announced.

The musician first found fame in the band he started with older brother Duane in the late 1960s.

In its heyday, the band was a staple on radio stations and released albums ranked among the best in rock history.

Allman, the band’s lead singer and keyboardist, wrote several of their biggest hits, including Whipping Post, It’s Not My Cross to Bear and Midnight Rider.

Among The Allman Brothers Band’s best-known songs is Jessica, from 1973, which was used as the opening theme tune to Top Gear.

After news of his death was announced, singer Cher, to whom he was married in the 1970s, tweeted “words are impossible”, before sharing a picture of the two together.

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The band’s first three albums made them stars, but then tragedy struck when Duane – whose talent as a guitarist was revered in the rock industry – died in a motorcycle accident aged 24 in 1971.

A little more than a year later, bassist Berry Oakley was also killed in a motorcycle accident.

Allman would go on to struggle with drug abuse, becoming a heroin addict in the 1970s.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, but said in his 2012 memoir My Cross to Bear he was too drunk to enjoy the ceremony.

After his death, singer Cher, who he was married to in the 1970s, tweeted “words are impossible”, before sharing a picture of the two together.

Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

The father-of-five’s cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Gregg Allman, rock trailblazer, dies at 69

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