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27th May 2017

gregg allman

Gregg Allman, the father of Southern rock, has passed away at the age of 69.

According to a statement on his official website, Gregg "passed away peacefully" at his home in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday, 27th May, just two months after the Allman Brothers Band co-founder cancelled all tour dates for 2017.

A father of five, he was married five times, including to Cher, the mother of his son Elijah Blue Allman and faced faced multiple health issues throughout his life. A former alcoholic and drug addict, he contracted hepatitis C and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

The statement added that he had "struggled with many health issues over the past several years.

"During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times."

Born in Nashville, he was raised in Florida by a single mother after his father was shot to death. He idolized his older brother, Duane, and the pair founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Duane was tragically killed in a motorcycle crash two years later as the group began to find mainstream success.

In his 2012 memoir, 'My Cross To Bear,' he described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered. Gregg was the first of the brothers to pick up a guitar but it was Duane who excelled at it so Gregg later switched to the organ.

They formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969 and their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album 'At Fillmore East' in 1971 that put the band in the big league.

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 and the band's bassist, Berry Oakley, died in a car crash the following year, and Gregg went on to have huge success as a solo artist.

In 1975, he married Cher just three days after she divorced Sonny Bono but she requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding which she dismissed a month later. Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name 'Allman And Woman' and had one child together, Elijah Blue, before Cher again filed for divorce in 1979.

The Allman Brothers Band also split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years.

Famous for classics like 'Midnight Rider', 'Melissa', 'Jessica' and the epic concert jam 'Whipping Post', he said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s before saying he felt "brand new" at the age of 50.

However, the years of indulgence brought on hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver and he underwent a transplant in 2010 and turned to music to help him recover and in 2011 he released his first solo album in fourteen years 'Low Country Blues'.

He cancelled some 2016 tour dates due to "serious health issues" and cancelled more dates later last year citing a throat injury.

In March this year he announced he would not be performing at all in 2017.

Gregg is survived by his fifth wife Shannon Allman.


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