David Crosby was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter who was famous for being the founder of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. He joined the Byrds in 1964 and released their first number-one hit in April 1965 with a cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan. Later, he formed Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. His wrote/co-wrote include “Lady Friend”, “Everybody’s Been Burned”, “Why”, and “Eight Miles High” with the Byrds and “Guinnevere”, “Wooden Ships”, “Shadow Captain”, and “In My Dreams” with Crosby, Stills & Nash.
His work with the Byrds and CSNY has sold over 35 million albums. He released six solo albums, five of which were charted. Moreover, he formed a jazz-influenced trio with his son James Raymond and guitarist Jeff Pevar in CPR. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: once for his work in the Byrds and again for his work with CSN. On January 18, 2023, Crosby died at the age of 81 after a long illness.
US Rock Legend, David Crosby Dies At 81
US folk-rock star David Crosby has died, his publicist said Thursday. He was 81. He helped set up two major bands in the 1960s: The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. He was renowned for his guitar-playing and vocal harmonies. His career saw him achieve the rare feat of being inducted into the revered Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. His wife, Jan Dance, told that he died “after a long illness” while surrounded by family. “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,” read his wife’s statement.
Following the musician’s death, former bandmate Nash expressed his “profound sadness” despite the two men’s often “volatile” relationship, adding that Crosby left behind a “tremendous void”. “What has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years,” Nash wrote. “David was fearless in life and in music.” Another tribute came from Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson, who wrote on Twitter that he was “heartbroken” at the news – as his fellow star had been an “unbelievable talent” and a “wonderful person”.
The exact cause of his death was not immediately specified.
What was David Crosby Famous For?
- David Crosby was a singer, guitarist, and songwriter.
- He is known for having employed alternative guitar tunings and jazz influences.
- To date, Crosby’s work with The Byrds; Crosby, Stills, & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has sold more than 35 million copies.
Where was David Crosby born and raised?
David Crosby was born on 14th August 1941. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, USA. His real name was David Van Cortlandt Crosby. He was the second son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, who formerly worked on Wall Street, and Aliph Van Cortlandt Whitehead, a salesperson at Macy’s department store. His brother Ethan, who taught him to play guitar and started his musical career with him, committed suicide in late 1997 or early 1998; the date is unknown because Ethan left a note not to search for his body but to let him return to the earth. His body was found months later in May 1998.
His father was a relative of the Van Rensselaer family, and his mother-granddaughter of Bishop of Pittsburgh Cortlandt Whitehead descended from the prominent Van Cortlandt family; they “regularly inhabited the New York society pages before their wedding”. His parents divorced in 1960, and his father married Betty Cormack Andrews. He held American nationality and his ethnicity was American-White. For the last time, he celebrated his 81st birthday.
David attended several schools, including the University Elementary School in Los Angeles, the Crane Country Day School in Montecito, and Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara for the rest of his elementary school and junior high years. He did not graduate from the Cate School in Carpinteria. He also studied drama at Santa Barbara City College before dropping out to pursue a career in music. With the help of producer Jim Dickson, Crosby recorded his first solo session in 1963.
David Crosby’s Music Career
- Initially, Crosby joined Jim McGuinn (who later changed his name to Roger) and Gene Clark, who was then named the Jet Set. The band obtained a demo acetate disc of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and recorded a version of the song, featuring McGuinn’s 12-string guitar as well as McGuinn, Crosby, and Clark’s vocal harmonizing.
- His early Byrds efforts included the 1966 hit “Eight Miles High” (to which he contributed one line, while Clark and McGuinn wrote the rest), and its flip side “Why”, co-written with McGuinn.
- Crosby was widely credited with popularizing the song “Hey Joe”. He persuaded the other members of the Byrds to record it on “Fifth Dimension”. With the Byrds’ 1967 album “Younger Than Yesterday”, he began to find his trademark style on songs such as “Renaissance Fair” (co-written with McGuinn), “Mind Gardens”, and “It Happens Each Day”. began to find his trademark style on songs such as “Renaissance Fair” (co-written with McGuinn), “Mind Gardens”, and “It Happens Each Day”.
- McGuinn and Hillman dismissed Crosby in October after he refused to countenance the recording of a cover of Goffin and King’s “Goin’ Back”. He contributed to three compositions and five recordings on the final album, his controversial menage-a-trois ode “Triad” was omitted; Jefferson Airplane released a Grace Slick-sung cover on Crown of Creation (1968); three years later, Crosby released a solo acoustic version of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s double live album 4 Way Street (1971); the Byrds’ version appeared decades later on 1988 Never Before release and later on the CD re-release of The Notorious Byrd Brothers.
- He reunited with the original Byrds for the album “Byrds” in 1973. It marked the final artistic collaboration of the original band.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
- After he left Byrds, David met a recently unemployed Stephen Stills at a party at the home of Cass Elliot (of the Mamas and the Papas) in California in March 1968, and the two started meeting informally and jamming together. They were soon joined by Graham Nash. Their first album, “Crosby, Stills & Nash” (1969), was an immediate hit. In 1969 Neil Young joined the group, and with him, they recorded the album “Déjà Vu”.
- After the release of the double live album 4 Way Street, the group went on a temporary hiatus to focus on their respective solo careers. In December 1969, Crosby appeared with CSNY at the Altamont Free Concert. At the beginning of 1970, he briefly joined Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart.
- In rehearsals for the 1974 tour, CSNY recorded a then-unreleased Crosby song, “Little Blind Fish”. CSYN did not perform together again as a foursome until Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985 and then performed only sporadically in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Without Young, however, Crosby, Stills & Nash performed in 1977 and the trio toured in support of their 1977 and 1982 albums CSN and Daylight Again and then, starting in the late 1980s, toured regularly year after year. The group continued to perform live, and since 1982 released four albums of new material: American Dream (1988, with Young), Live It Up (1990), After the Storm (1994), and Looking Forward (1999, with Young). In addition, Crosby & Nash released the self-titled album Crosby & Nash in 2004.
- Crosby, Stills, and Nash appeared together on a 2008 episode of The Colbert Report, and “Neil Young” joined them during the musical performance at the end of the episode.
- Nash announced on March 6, 2016, that Crosby, Stills & Nash would never perform again because of his poor relations with Crosby.
Solo career and Crosby & Nash
- Crosby released his first solo album, “If I Could Only Remember My Name” in 1971. As a duo, Crosby & Nash (C&N) released four studio albums and two live albums, including Another Stoney Evening. His songs recorded by C&N in the 1970s include “Whole Cloth”, “Where Will I Be?”, “Page 43”, “Games”, “The Wall Song”, “Carry Me”, “Bittersweet”, “Naked in the Rain” (co-written with Nash), “Low Down Payment”, “Homeward Through the Haze”, “Time After Time”, “Dancer”, “Taken at All” (also co-written with Nash) and “Foolish Man”. Likewise, he worked with Phil Collins occasionally from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.
- He sang backup to Collins in “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Another Day in Paradise”, and, on his own 1993 song, “Hero”, from his album Thousand Roads. In 1992, Crosby sang backup on the album “Rites of Passage”. In 1999, he appeared on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, singing a duet of the title track with Lucinda Williams.
- Crosby and Nash worked with David Gilmour as backing vocalists on the latter’s third solo album, “On an Island” in 2006. They also performed live with Gilmour in his concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London in May 2006 and toured together in the United States, as can be seen on Gilmour’s 2007 DVD Remember That Night.
- In January 2014, he released his first solo album in 20 years, “Croz”. On July 14, 2016, Crosby announced a new solo album named “Lighthouse”, which was released on October 21, 2016.
- In September 2017, he announced a solo album (his third one of original material in four years and his sixth in total) entitled “Sky Trails”, again with Raymond, to be released on September 29, 2017, on BMG. He appeared on NPR’s Live from Here, playing duets with host Chris Thile in April 2018. He released “Here If You Listen” on BMG on 26th October 2018.
- He was the subject of the documentary film “David Crosby: Remember My Name” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. In July 2021, he released what would become his final studio album, “For Free”. This was followed by the release of the 50th-anniversary expanded version of “If I Could Only Remember My Name” on October 15.
- His final release was a live album recorded during the band’s tour, Live at the Capitol Theater, released on October 4, 2022.
- Crosby formed CPR or Crosby, Pevar & Raymond with session guitarist Jeff Pevar, and pianist James Raymond, Crosby’s son in the year 1996. The group together released two studio albums and two live albums before disbanding in 2004. In January 1997, Crosby and Raymond performed live for the first time with the song “Morrison”, the first song they co-wrote.
- The success of the 1997 tour spawned a recording project, “Live at Cuesta College”, released in March 1998. There is a second CPR studio record, “Just Like Gravity”, and another live recording, “Live at the Wiltern”, recorded at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.
- Raymond, after the group split, continued to perform with Crosby as part of the touring bands for C&N and CSN, as well as on solo Crosby projects.
- The CPR in 2018 reunited as David Crosby & Friends, performing a series of shows in support of Crosby’s new album “Skytrails”.
- During the global pandemic, he hosted a podcast for the Osiris music network.
- He appeared as a guest star in several episodes of The John Larroquette Show in the 1990s. He appeared on an episode of “Roseanne”. He was on an episode of “Ellen” called ‘Ellen Unplugged’.
- Likewise, he also appeared as a pirate in the 1991 film “Hook”, as a 1970s hippie in the 1991 film “Backdraft”, and as a bartender in the 1992 feature film “Thunderheart”.
- He also voiced himself on two episodes of The Simpsons, “Marge in Chains” and “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet”.
Who is David Crosby’s Wife?
David Crosby was a married man. In May 1987, David and his wife, Jan Dance got married at the Hollywood Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles. His bandmate Stephen Stills gave away the bride. , The duo are also blessed with a son, Django Crosby, who was conceived after extensive fertility treatments while Crosby’s liver was failing. Before the death of David, the family was residing happily without any disturbances. His sexual orietnation was straight and he was not gay.
Previously, David tied the knot to his wife, Celia Crawford Ferguson. Their marriage produces a son namely James Raymond in 1962 who was placed for adoption and reunited with Crosby as an adult. Since 1997, Raymond has performed with Crosby on stage and in the studio, as a member of CPR and as part of the touring bands for Crosby & Nash and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Moreover, David also had three other children: a daughter, Erika, with Jackie Guthrie, and a daughter, Donovan Crosby, with former girlfriend Debbie Donovan.
In January 2000, Melissa Etheridge announced that Crosby was the sperm donor of two children with her partner Julie Cypher by means of artificial insemination. On May 13, 2020, Etheridge announced on her Twitter that her and Cypher’s son Beckett had died of causes related to opioid addiction at the age of 21.
Back in 1985, he spent nine months in a Texas state prison after being convicted of several drug and weapons offenses. The drug charges were related to the possession of heroin and cocaine. In the same year, he was arrested for drunken driving, a hit-and-run driving accident, and possession of a concealed pistol and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested after driving into a fence in a Marin County suburb, where officers found a .45-caliber pistol and cocaine in his car. Furthermore, on 7th March 2004, he was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, illegal possession of a hunting knife, illegal possession of ammunition, and illegal possession of about one ounce of marijuana. Later, Crosby was discharged by the court on condition that he pay his fine and not get arrested again.
How much was David Crosby’s Net Worth?
David Crosby was a singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose net worth was estimated to have $10 million at the time of his death. His net worth was impacted by both his health issues, including hepatitis C, Type 2 diabetes, and substance abuse, and legal problems, including a $3 million settlement after accidentally hitting a jogger with his car in 2015. His main source of wealth was from the music industry. He lived a lavish lifestyle from his career earnings. He was making an annual salary of millions of dollars from his professional career as a musician.
Crosby, in partnership with longtime friend and entrepreneur Steven Sponder, developed a craft cannabis brand called “MIGHTY CROZ”. In 2018, Crosby was invited to join the NORML National Advisory Board.
In March 2020, Crosby told GQ, “I’m sitting here waiting for them to cancel all my tours this summer and put me in deep financial trouble. You know they don’t pay us for records anymore, right? So touring is all we got. That’s really the only thing that we can do to make any money. And to lose it is just awful.” He added, “I may—honest to God—I may lose my home. I don’t know what to do about it, except just try to roll with the punches and keep going. Truthfully, if I lose the tours, I probably will lose my home.”
He sold his catalog in 2021 to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group, though the terms and details of the sale were never made public. He hasn’t publicly revealed how much he earned for his publishing rights, save that the sale enabled him to pay off his mortgage. He claimed to have barely made any money from music streams from his decades of work. “The streaming companies are making billions of dollars. The numbers are right out there, in the public,” Crosby told.
How tall was David Crosby?
David Crosby was a cool singer with amazing vocals. He stood at the height of 5 feet and 10 inches or 1.79 m. His body weight was measured at 77 kg or 169 lbs. His hair color was white and his eye color was dark brown. He had been suffering from a lot of illnesses in his lifetime.
Crosby was the recipient of a highly publicized liver transplant, paid for by Phil Collins, in 1994. News of his transplant created some controversy because of his celebrity status and his past problems with drug and alcohol addiction. His liver problems stemmed from a long run with hepatitis C. He also suffered from Type 2 diabetes and was treated with insulin to manage the disease. He looked much thinner than in recent years and announced to the audience at an October 2008 concert that he had recently shed 55 pounds (25 kg) as a result of his struggles with the disease.
In February 2014, at the urging of his doctor, Crosby postponed the final dates of his solo tour in order to undergo a cardiac catheterization and angiogram, based on the results of a routine cardiac stress test.
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