Such sad news this morning. Gary Rossington, the last original surviving member of Lynryd Skynyrd has passed away at the age of 71. Back in October of 1977, Gary survived that infamous plane crash that killed three of his bandmates. From then on to his death yesterday, Gary had many health issues and battled drug and alcohol problems, but he always loved playing the music. Back in 2014, Gary told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his mission to continue to represent the band. “I thank God every day and night that I can keep playing and spreading the name of Skynyrd and our brand. Just being able to talk about Ronnie and Allen (Collins, who died in 1990) and share their music with the audience,” Rossington said. “We had a dream back in the day to be in a big band and make it and then it was taken away from (some of) them real quick. (Those who died in the plane crash), they didn’t get a chance to see how Skynyrd developed, how ‘Free Bird’ became an anthem. So I get to tell their story.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. In its current incarnation, Lynyrd Skynyrd features the lead vocals of Ronnie Van Zant’s brother, Johnny (since 1987); the guitars of Rickey Medlocke (who returned to the band in 1996); and the drums of Michael Cartellone (since 1999). The band posted a statement confirming Rossington's death on its verified Facebook account. "It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today," the statement said. "Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does. "Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time," the statement concluded. May Gary rest in peace.