Who Was David Crosby? The Legendary Singer And Songwriter Passed Away At 81

The folk rock pioneer and one of the founding members of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash Young, David Crosby, passed away. His family announced the news on Thursday. Find out who this musical legend was and his journey here.
The Legendary Singer And Songwriter Passed Away At 81
The Legendary Singer And Songwriter Passed Away At 81

The American singer, guitarist songwriter, and legend David Van Cortlandt Crosby passed away at the age of 81 on January 18, 2023. His Family announced the news on Thursday with a heavy heart, while the fans mourn the loss of the founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

The words of the Crosby family were as follows: 

“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django,” the Crosby family said in a statement

“Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music”

“Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched,” the statement added. “We will miss him dearly.”

He is extremely popular for his iconic song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”  which was made popular again in the mid-’90s thanks to the 1994 feature film “Forrest Gump.”

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David Crosby: Early Life and Career

  • David Crosby was born in California, on August 14, 1941.
  • He was the son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby. 
  • In 1960 his ambitions of becoming an actor took him to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara.
  • In 1963 he formed the rock group The Byrds with Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark.
  • In 1965 The band was nominated for a best new artist Grammy.
  • Their song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”  was made popular again in the mid-’90s thanks to the 1994 feature film “Forrest Gump. 
  • In 1969 the singer Crosby with Stills & Nash played Woodstock 1969 which was their second live performance together, it helped them immensely in climbing the ladder to mainstream success.
  • He then 1969 released the band’s first album “Crosby, Stills & Nash,” which was an immediate success. It also featured hits “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”
  • Later on, another song was released in the 1970s Déjà Vu, which contained the hit song “Woodstock.
  • In 1970 Crosby won the best new artist Grammy trophy as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash.
  •  Crosby also collaborated with other music greats throughout his career, like Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell.

David Crosby: Overcoming the Struggles 

The legendary singer also struggled with addiction and had a history with it. 

Crosby spent five months in jail on narcotics and weapons charges and was finally released in 1986. He credited his time in prison with helping him get sober.

“They locked me in a box and I got off drugs, and believe me, it changes you totally,” He expressed gratefully 

 “You go from not wanting to live to being very proud of living because you’re no longer killing yourself and you’re taking care of your family again, being a decent guy and making music.”

In recent years Crosby was open about his health problems.

Crosby received a liver transplant in 1944 and went under multiple heart procedures.

He was also managing his diabetes.

In 2021 Crosby expressed in an interview that continuing to make music was keeping him “alive.” 

David Crosby: Death and Responses of the loved ones 

Though David Crosby's reason for death is still unknown, many of his friends and family were saddened and expressed their condolences.

Upon learning of Crosby’s death, Musician Melissa Etheridge, wrote on Instagram that she is “grieving the loss of my friend.He gave me the gift of family,” she wrote.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mother, rockstar, activist 🎶 (@melissa_etheridge)

Graham Nash, Crosby's former bandmate expressed  on Thursday, “what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together.”

 “David was fearless in life and in music. He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most.”

Carole King, who was joined on stage in 1994 by Crosby and Nash to perform “You’ve Got a Friend,” reacted to the news on Facebook by saying “my old friend David is gone, but he left us with his words, his music, and his beautiful voice.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Carole King (@carole_king)

Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson also shared his sentiments on social media saying he was “heartbroken.”

“David was an unbelievable talent - such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person,” he wrote.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Brian Wilson (@brianwilsonlive)

David Crosby: Biography 


Birth name

David Van Cortlandt Crosby


August 14, 1941,

Los Angeles, California, U.S.


January 18, 2023 (aged 81)







Years active




Formerly of

The ByrdsCrosby, Stills, Nash & YoungCrosby & NashCPR


Jan Dance ​(m. 1987)

David Crosby: Critics' Choice Documentary Awards



Critics' Choice Documentary Award

Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary

David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019)

David Crosby: Grammy Awards




Best Music Film

David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019)

Shared with:

A.J. Eaton (director)
Cameron Crowe (producer)
Michele Farinola (producer)
Greg Mariotti (producer)




Best Country Vocal Collaboration

Shared with:

Alison Krauss (artist)
Kathy Mattea
Crosby Stills & Nash

For "Teach Your Children"




Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group

Shared with:

Crosby Stills & Nash

For "CSN"




Album of the Year

Shared with:

Neil Young

For "Deja Vu"




Album of the Year

Shared with:

Crosby Stills & Nash

For "Crosby, Stills And Nash"

Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group

Shared with:

Crosby Stills & Nash

For "Crosby, Stills And Nash"

Best New Artist of the Year




Best New Artist


David Crosby: Hollywood Music In Media Awards 



HMMA Award

Best Original Song - Independent Film

Little Pink House (2017)

Song: "Home Free"


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