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Allman Brothers Band singer/guitarist Dickey Betts dies at age 80

Allman Brothers Band singer/guitarist Dickey Betts dies at age 80

Allman Brothers Band singer/guitarist Dickey Betts dies at age 80

Lit memorial candles in the dark^ burning candles

Allman Brothers Band singer, songwriter and guitarist Dickey Betts has died at the age of 80.  Betts’ manager David Spero shared with Rolling Stone that the cause of death was cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Betts’ family confirmed his death on his official Instagram page alongside a throwback photo, writing: “It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 – April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old. The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family … Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide. At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be forthcoming at the appropriate time.”

Betts co-founded the Allman Brothers Band alongside bassist Berry Oakley, Duane Allman and his younger brother, Gregg Allman. Betts and Duane shared guitar duties in the original Allman Brothers Band lineup; following Duane’s death in a motorcycle accident in 1971, Betts became its primary guitarist, writing songs including “Jessica” and “Ramblin’ Man.” After founding member Berry Oakley was killed in a motorcycle crash, the Allman Brothers Band went on hiatus in the late 1970s. Betts recorded solo music and side projects such as Great Southern and The Dickey Betts Band. Allman Brothers Band reunited in 1979 with Dan Toler on guitar, but broke up again in 1982, during which time Betts formed the group Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks. In 1989 the band once again reformed, with Warren Haynes as guitarist alongside Betts; the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. However in the 2000, Betts was ousted from the group over a conflict regarding his continued drug and alcohol use (per PEOPLE). He never performed with the band again nor played with former band members for reunions or side projects; and the band disbanded for good in 2014.

Betts is survived by his wife Donna, whom he married in 1989.

Editorial credit: boomkee2532 / Shutterstock.com

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