Gregg Allman, co-founder of legendary southern blues-rock outfit the Allman Brothers Band, has passed away

By Katherine Richter
May 27, 2017 03:57 PM

Gregg Allman, co-founder of legendary southern blues-rock outfit the Allman Brothers Band, has died. He was 69.

Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Allman’s long time manager and close friend, Michael Lehman, remembered the musician, who passed away at his home in Savannah, Georgia, in an obituary shared on his website on Saturday.

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

The Allman Brothers Band also confirmed the news on Twitter, saying that they were sharing the news with “deep sadness.”

The Allman Brothers Band in 1969
| Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Musicians like Peter Frampton and Keith Urban soon weighed in on Allman’s death.

Health battles had forced Allman to cancel upcoming June concert dates, but the guitarist denied rumors that he was currently in hospice care. In April, the guitarist posted a message on social media in which he clarified his current health status.

Gregg Allman in 2015
| Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

“Hey everyone. I just wanted y’all to know that I’m currently home in Savannah resting on my doctor’s orders,” he wrote. “I want to thank you for all the love that you are sending. Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Keep Rockin.”

Gregg Allman in 2014
| Credit: Rick Diamond/LSBB14/Getty

Allman fronted his band for 45 years, first alongside Duane and then as its sole namesake, after his older brother — a rock history luminary — was killed in a motorcycle accident in November 1971.

The group, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, continued touring until 2014, famous for shows full of long, long jams. In the years after the death of Duane, Allman was one of the greatest, most enduring voices of was known as Southern rock — a looser, bluesier and in some ways more deep-rooted compatriot to the California groups of the 1960s and 1970s.

The band had only one no. 1 album, 1973’s Brothers and Sisters, and that included their only top 10 single, the classic “Ramblin’ Man,” but that song has all the hallmarks of the Allman sound, including soaring, stinging guitar. The group successfully fused so many elements, including jazz, their hits sound new to the ear, even now. Their most famous album probably remains the two-disc Eat the Peach, released the year after Duane’s death, but Gregg stayed with the group over the decades and also put out well-regarded solo projects, notably 2011’s Low Country Blues.

Allman’s personal life also made headlines — marrying six different women, including Cher. The pair share a son, Elijah Blue Allman, who is a musician in his own right.

Just three days after her divorce from her first husband Sonny Bono became final — Cher, then 29, jumped on a Learjet to Las Vegas and got hitched to the then-27-year-old Southern rocker. On July 9, 1975, a mere nine days after the wedding, she filed to dissolve the marriage. Though Allman won her back in a month, the pair eventually parted for good following their poorly received duet album, Two the Hard Way, recorded under the name “Allman and Woman,” in 1977.

Cher commented on Allman’s passing on Twitter, saying that words were too much.