Former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King, who helped write several of the group’s hits including ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, has died aged 68.
The American musician died at home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, according to a post on his Facebook page.
“It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ed King who died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on August 22nd, 2018. We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career,” the post read.
The cause of his death is not known, however, according to Rolling Stone, he had been battling lung cancer and had been recently hospitalised for the disease.
Tributes are pouring in from the entertainment world following the death of the rock legend.
“My heart is breaking again. Ed King… your star will never burn out,” one fan wrote. Another added: “Thank you Ed King for all the great music you made. Your music will live on forever.”
A third wrote: “Oh no. I am so sorry to hear this. Not only did I appreciate his musicianship, but he was just a fun, smart, insightful, humorous and loving man.”
King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 and played on its first three albums. On ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, which peaked at number eight on the US charts in 1974, King can be heard making the opening count in.
He left three years later after fighting with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. The group separated entirely following a plane crash which killed three of its members, including Van Zant, in 1977. King rejoined the band after it reformed in 1987 for a reunion tour with Van Zant’s younger brother, Johnny, on lead vocals.
King was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, along with all the surviving members of the band from before the crash.