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All Lynyrd Skynyrd Members Who Died over the Years

If you’re a fan of great music – then you’ve probably listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd – and maybe you’ll put on one of their albums after you watch this video. It’s one of the longest-running Southern rock bands and has had many great band members who made the unforgettable music that we still enjoy today.

Sadly, many of the great Lynyrd Skynyrd members have passed away – most recently Gary Rossington who died on March 5th, 2023. Though the band plays on, it’s important that we remember the pioneers behind it.

We’re happy to bring you the stories of these great band members and how they contributed to one of rock music’s best bands. Their lives certainly can serve as an inspiration to all of us and we’re glad to bring you their stories.

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Bob Burns was a talented musician and was a founding member of, Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was on November 24, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s the band’s drummer and plays a vital role in shaping the unique sound and style in its early days.

Burns’ contribution to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success is significant. If you even have an inkling of their music, you’ll soon know about his contribution. He plays on the band’s first two albums, “Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd” and “Second Helping”. It includes hit songs such as “Free Bird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Gimme Three Steps.”

Despite his success with Lynyrd Skynyrd, he eventually left the band in 1974 as he wanted to pursue. He continued to play music and performed. with various bands over the years. Nevertheless, his career never reaches the heights of his Lynyrd Skynyrd days and his contribution to the band never forget.

Tragically, Bob Burns died in a car accident on April 3, 2015. According to reports, he lost control of his car while negotiating a curve in Cartersville, Georgia. Burns was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Bob Burns’ death was a huge loss to the music world, especially for fans of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was a talented drummer and a vital part of the band’s early sound. Though he left the band early, his contributions were instrumental in shaping the band’s legacy. Burns remember for his significant contributions to rock music, and his legacy will live on through his music.


Leon Wilkeson was the bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was born on April 2, 1952, in Newport, Rhode Island. Leon Wilkeson joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 and played with the band until his untimely death.

Wilkeson was a versatile musician who, in addition to bass, also played guitar, piano, and harmonica. He was known for his distinctive bass playing style and contributed to many of the band’s most famous songs, including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird.”

Wilkeson was a dedicated member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and continued to play with the band through various changes in lineup and sound. He even took a brief hiatus from the band in the late 1970s but returned in 1987, where he remained until his death.

Tragically, Leon Wilkeson passed away on July 27, 2001, in his hotel room in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He was 49 years old. The cause of death was listed as natural causes, but the specific details were never disclosed. It was stated, however, that he had been suffering from lung disease and a chronic liver.

The music world mourned the loss of Leon Wilkeson, and his death was a significant loss to Lynyrd Skynyrd and its fans.

He was a talented musician who had played an integral role in the band’s success, and his contributions to rock music will always be remembered.

Although his untimely death was a great loss to the music world, Leon Wilkeson’s legacy as a talented musician and Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist will continue to inspire future generations of musicians.


Ronnie Van Zant was the lead vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was born on January 15, 1948, in Jacksonville, Florida. Ronnie Van Zant is highly regarded as one of the driving forces behind the band’s sound and success.

Van Zant’s voice was powerful and distinct, and his lyrics were honest and relatable. He wrote many of the band’s most famous songs, including “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and “Free Bird.” His talent and dedication to his craft helped Lynyrd Skynyrd become one of the most successful rock bands of the 1970s. But alas, we didn’t get to enjoy his talents for too long.

Sadly, on October 20, 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in Gillsburg, Mississippi, killing Van Zant and five other band members. The crash was a devastating blow to the music world and to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fans.

Van Zant’s death was a tragic loss, but his legacy as a talented musician and songwriter lives on. He was a genuine and passionate artist who touched the hearts of many through his music. His contributions to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success and to Southern Rock in general will always be remembered.

In 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Van Zant’s brother, Johnny, accepted the award on his behalf. The band’s surviving members continue to tour and keep Van Zant’s music alive.


Allen Collins was the lead guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was on July 19th , 1952, in Jacksonville, Florida – just like so many of his other bandmates.

Collins was a gifted guitarist known for his dynamic solos and melodic playing style. He co-wrote many of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s biggest hits, including “Free Bird,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” Like Ronnie Van Zant, he also left us tragically earlier.

Sadly, Collins got into a car accident on January 29, 1986, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. This tragic accident also caused the death of Debra Jean Watts – Allen’s girlfriend. As one can expect, this tragedy was a significant setback for Collins, both personally and professionally.

Despite his physical limitations, Collins continued to play music and record with Lynyrd Skynyrd. He also formed his own band, the Allen Collins Band, and released a solo album, “Here, There, and Back,” in 1983. However, the horrors of the tragic accident traumatized him for the rest of his life.

We tragically lost Allen Collins much earlier than expected. He passed away on January 23, 1990, due to complications from pneumonia – at the age of 37.

Allen Collins’ legacy as a talented musician and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lead guitarist will continue to inspire and influence generations of fans and musicians.


Steve and Cassie Gaines were both talented musicians and were simultaneously members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd. They were talented siblings who both brought their musical talents to the iconic Southern rock band.

Steve Gaines was born on September 14, 1949, in Seneca, Missouri, while Cassie Gaines was born on January 9, 1948, in Senatobia, Mississippi.

Steve Gaines was a versatile musician who played guitar, piano, and sang backup vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd. He joined the band in 1976 and his contributions to the band’s sound and success are still discussed today – as he gave them a unique style and helped them reach an ever wider fan base. Steve Gaines wrote several songs for the band, including “I Know a Little” and “Ain’t No Good Life.”

Cassie Gaines was Steve’s older sister and a talented singer who also provided backup vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd. She joined the band in 1976 and was known for her powerful voice and her powerful and energetic presence when performing live.

Tragically, on October 20, 1977, when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in Gillsburg, Mississippi  both Steve and Cassie Gaines, were among the band members who died. They were new additions to Lynyrd Skynyrd but their contributions were immediately recognized and the sadness that we never got to see more from them is still felt today.

The loss of Steve and Cassie Gaines was felt deeply by Lynyrd Skynyrd and its fans. They were talented musicians who had helped change the band’s sound and gave an even greater energy to the iconic sound that the band was reputed for.

Steve and Cassie Gaines will always be remembered as talented musicians who left an indelible mark on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music and legacy.


On March 5th, 2023, Gary Rossington, the last original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died at the age of 70. Rossington was a guitarist and one of the band’s founding members. He had struggled with health issues for several years, including a recent heart attack that forced him to miss the band’s final tour.

Lynyrd Skynyrd was formed in Jacksonville, Florida and Gary Rossington is one of the many band members who was born there. One of the things that made Lynyrd Skynyrd so unique was its blend of Southern rock, blues, and country music. Gary Rossington’s guitar playing is still considered a crucial aspect of the band’s sound and success.

Gary Rossington was injured in the plane crash that killed many of the band members. He survived but he was greatly injured. Naturally, this horrific incident traumatized the band but they played on.

Gary Rossington was the only original member of the band to remain active until his death. He continued to tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, even with his health issues later in life. He was known for his dedication to the band and his fans, and it was something that he was passionate about his entire life.

Many fans and musicians paid tribute to Gary Rossington after his death, including former Lynyrd Skynyrd band members as well as the newer members who have helped the band continue to this day. Gary Rossington’s contributions to Southern rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legacy will always be remembered.


Are you a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd? It’s a great band and we know it’ll continue to produce great music – though we certainly grieve over the members who have died over the years.

Now, here’s what we’d like to hear from you:

Do you think that rock bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd are still appreciated today?

Or are today’s music fans not particularly interested in rock music?

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