Performer Gregg Allman, a Southern rock icon and founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Allman Brothers Band, is now dead at the age of 69, according to several published reports.
Writers for CNN state the “Midnight Rider” singer-songwriter succumbed to liver cancer complications at his Savannah, GA home and was “surrounded by his family and friends,” including Michael Lehman, Gregg’s longtime friend and manager, who confirmed the news of Allman’s passing to the media network.
Likewise, journalists for Just Jared additionally mention reports of Gregg being under hospice care that began to make the rounds last month, which the singer ultimately denied.
“[Allman] insisted he was resting at his home on doctor’s orders,” Just Jared says.
An obituary for Gregg posted on his official Facebook fan page claims that Allman was dead as a result of “many health issues over the past several years.”
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” the announcement reads.
“Gregg’s long time manager and close friend, Michael Lehman said, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and band mates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”
Southern rock veteran Gregg Allman dies at 69. https://t.co/2YawQNeIhb
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) May 27, 2017
A music excursion planned by Allman to promote an upcoming album, Southern Blood, was initially set to begin sometime next month following a prior rescheduling of the first four dates of the tour; including an appearance at the Grand Opera House in Georgia, and a semi-residency at the Winery in New York City, as Rolling Stone noted.
“Health issues in recent years have prevented the usually nomadic Allman from touring at full capacity,” writers for the music publication further detailed.
“In August 2016, the Allman Brothers great revealed that unspecified ‘serious health issues’ would force him to cancel 28 gigs, including some festival appearances.”
Gregg appeared to be well enough to turn up at a pair of shows last October at his self-created Laid Back Festival in Atlanta, but suffered another health setback when a vocal cord injury sidelined the performer for several months, effectively ending the winter leg of his tour.
An emotional Allman would address the necessary time-off in an apology to fans via his website.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long, time,” Gregg wrote.
“I’ve been on the road for 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal.”
Born Gregory LeNoir Allman on December 8, 1947, the singer and his late brother, Duane Allman, would go on to front the country-rock collective, who are considered by many music listeners to be the godfathers of the genre.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) May 27, 2017
“[Becoming] the band’s main songwriter early on, Mr. Allman contributed expansive, emotionally fraught compositions like “Dreams” and ‘Whipping Post’ to the Allman Brothers repertoire,” the New York Times writes.
“[Gregg] also enjoyed an enduring, if intermittent, career as a solo artist, both while a member of the Allman Brothers Band and during periods when he was away from the group. His recordings under his own name were typically more subdued, more akin to soulful singer-songwriter rock, than his molten performances with the Allmans.”
The singer’s final solo effort, Low Country Blues, was released back in 2011 — one year before his memoir, My Cross To Bear, hit bookshelves around the country.
Greg Allman leaves behind a wife, Shannon, and four children including son Elijah Blue, a product of his prior marriage to pop legend Cher in 1975 (the marriage was dead by 1977).
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]