Gregg Allman, co-founder of iconic blues-rock group The Allman Brothers Band, has died at the age of 69.
The legendary musician – once married to Cher – passed away at his home in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday (May 27) due to complications from liver cancer, according to his longtime manager and close friend Michael Lehman.
“I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music,” Lehman wrote in an obituary posted on Allman’s website.
“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 announced the news on Twitter with “deep sadness”.
Allman went through heartbreaking tragedy and addiction during his life. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.
He was recently forced to cancel some tour dates scheduled for next month, clarifying on social media in April that he was taking time off on doctor’s orders.
“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.”
It’s emerged that Allman’s liver cancer recurred around five years ago, but he chose to keep the news private.
The singer founded The Allman Brothers Band with his older brother Duane. Gregg fronted the group for 45 years, originally with his sibling and then as the sole namesake after Duane was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in November 1971.
They were behind such hits as ‘Midnight Rider’, ‘Melissa’ and ‘Whipping Post’.
Gregg also made headlines for his personal life. He was married and divorced to six different women, including Cher, with whom he shares a son, musician Elijah Blue Allman.
Four days after finalising her divorce from Sonny Bono in June 1975, Cher married Allman. She filed for divorce nine days later because of his heroin and alcohol problems, but they reconciled within a month.
Cher and Allman eventually split up for good after recording the poorly-received duet album Two the Hard Way – under the name Allman and Woman – in 1977.
Allman is survived by three sons and two daughters, all by different mothers.
The world of music and entertainment – including ex-wife Cher – are paying tribute to the life and legacy of Gregg Allman:
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