Brantley Gilbert Remembers ‘True Legend’ Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington [Watch]
Brantley Gilbert paid tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington — who died on Sunday (March 5) at the age of 71 — with a social media remembrance that underscores both Rossington's musical talents and his kind, gracious presence in the music industry.
"The world lost a true legend," Gilbert writes in his remembrance. "All my love, respect & prayers to the family & loved ones of Gary Rossington.
"This man was the truth on a guitar," the singer continues, "but I'll never forget how genuine, humble & kind he was not to just me, but my band & my crew every time we crossed paths."
Not only did Gilbert encounter Rossington and Lynyrd Skynyrd on the road and at music events over the years, but he also got the chance to perform with the legendary Southern rockers as part of an episode of CMT Crossroads, a series that pairs two artists from different genres for an evening of performances of each other's music.
Gilbert and Lynyrd Skynyrd's episode of CMT Crossroads came out in 2015, and as he remembered the late Rossington on social media, Gilbert shared a throwback clip of that performance.
In this clip, Gilbert and Rossington trade verses on "Sweet Home Alabama" — Lynyrd Skynyrd's signature song, and their massively popular 1974 response to Neil Young's "Southern Man." Rossington was a writer on "Sweet Home Alabama," alongside bandmates Ed King and Ronnie Van Zandt.
Rossington's death was announced via statement from the band. "Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does," the statement read in part.
No cause of death was given, though his health struggles over the years were well-documented; Rossington suffered from heart disease, undergoing a quintuple bypass in 2003 and suffering a heart attack in 2015.
Gilbert's remembrance of Rossington joins tributes from several others in the country community, including Travis Tritt and the Oak Ridge Boys.