- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and co-founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, has passed away at the age of 69.

The singer-songwriter behind southern rock classics including “Melissa” and “Midnight Rider” passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia, according to an announcement posted on his official website Saturday afternoon.

His longtime manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press that Allman died after a reoccurrence of liver cancer.

“Gregg 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,” the announcement said.

“I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music,” Mr. Lehman said. “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.”

Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman was born in Nashville in 1947 and began playing guitar as a kid before starting a group with his older sibling Duane in 1969, the aptly named Allman Brothers Band. While Duane died tragically in a motorcycle crash two years later, his younger brother led the band in his absence for most of its 45-year history.

“Never did I have any idea it could come to this,” Allman said during the band’s final show in 2014, Rolling Stone reported at the time.

The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, the same year as fellow rockers Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Frank Zappa; the band was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant the following year but still toured relentlessly in spite of his ailing health. He performed at two festivals last fall and was scheduled to tour in 2017 but ultimately canceled those dates in March, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever,” musician Charlie Daniels tweeted Saturday.

Allman is survived by his wife, Shannon, four children, three grandchildren and a large extended family, Saturday’s announcement said. He wed a total of seven times, including a notable stint with pop-star Cher in the 1970s.

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