Gregg Allman, Southern rock trailblazer who led the Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69

Gregg Allman, the gravel-voiced singer who helped lift the Allman Brothers Band to prominence with a hard-churning brand of soulful rock that became part of the soundtrack of the 1960s and ’70s and set the coordinates for a musical genre known as Southern rock, died Saturday at the age of 69.

According to a statement posted on his official website, Allman, who had canceled concerts and entire tours in recent years as he battled a variety of health issues, “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Ga.“

With Allman as the frontman, his brother Duane on slide guitar and not one but two drummers, the group became a favorite touring band with its extended and often improvised versions of songs like “Midnight Rider,” “Whipping Post” and “Stormy Monday.”

On Allman’s website, his manager, 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 bandmates 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.”

Considered a “blues everyman,” Allman was the lead singer, organist and primary songwriter of the group, which he formed with his brother Duane in 1969. While there have been several iterations since, the original troupe consisted of the brothers, guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Butch Trucks…

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