Marty Balin, founding member and singer of iconic San Fransisco psych rockers Jefferson Airplane, has passed away at the age of 76.
Balin died on Thursday, 27th September, with Rolling Stone reporting that his cause of death was “not immediately known”.
Taking to Facebook, Balin’s surviving bandmates issued a statement saying “We have lost a true legend”.
“Marty Balin helped start a revolution that still lives on today,” they write. “He will be greatly missed – our hearts go out to his family, friends and music fans everywhere.”
Balin founded Jefferson Airplane in 1965 and played a crucial role in the creation of all the band’s influential 1960’s hit albums, including Surrealistic Pillow and Volunteers.
He exited the band in 1971 as things began to implode internally, citing his bandmates’ excessive drug use and the emotional trauma of Janis Joplin’s death as motivation, before going on to found offshoot project Jefferson Starship with bandmate Paul Kantner four years later.
Starship also clocked dozens of hits before Balin exited in 1978, going on to launch a successful semi-solo career, and get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996.