Lynyrd Skynyrd Keyboardist & Crash Survivor, Billy Powell Dies

Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died this morning (Jan. 28) at his home in Orange Park, Fla. He was 56.

According to the Associated Press, Powell called 911 around 12:55 a.m. this morning, saying he was having trouble breathing. Rescue crews arrived at the home but Powell was pronounced dead just before 2 a.m.

Orange Park Police Lt. Mark Cornett told the AP that Powell had missed an appointment yesterday for a cardiac evaluation.

Powell and guitarist Gary Rossington were the lone current members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who survived the 1977 plane crash that killed three members. The group broke up following the crash but reunited in 1987 and has been active ever since.

According to the band’s publicist, as-yet-unspecified shows will be canceled due to Powell’s death. Skynyrd was slated to perform Friday (Jan. 30) in Kinder, La., and the following day in Biloxi, Miss. A European tour was set to begin May 20 in Finland.

Source Billboard

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