Former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ co-writer Ed King has sadly passed away at the age of 68.
According to a post on his official Facebook profile, King died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on 22nd August.
“We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career,” the post reads.
Family friend Scott Coopwood has further told the Associated Press that King’s death was the result of cancer. The musician also had a history of heart troubles, undergoing a heart transplant back in 2011.
King first joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 and played on their first three albums, having a hand in both of the band’s biggest hits, ‘Freebird’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.
On the iconic ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ recording, he can be heard making the opening count in.
“Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player,” founding Skynyrd member Gary Rossington posted on the band’s official Facebook page.
“I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in rock ‘n’ roll heaven.”
King exited the band two years before a 1977 plane crash killed singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines. He rejoined 10 years later, and played until he retired in 1996 due to heart problems.