Ed King, former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and co-writer of Sweet Home Alabama, has died aged 68.
A post on King’s Facebook confirmed his death: “It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ed King who died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on August 22nd, 2018. We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career.”
Though the cause of his death was not specified, King had reportedly been battling lung cancer.
King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd on bass in 1972, before switching to guitar, alongside Gary Rossington and Allen Collins.
He would go on to play on the band’s first three albums - 1973’s (Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd), 1974’s Second Helping and 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy - and co-write Sweet Home Alabama, which remains the group’s most iconic song.
King later quit the band in 1975, following a falling-out with frontman Ronnie Van Zant, but rejoined in 1987, before retiring once more in 1996 due to struggles with congestive heart failure.
Following King’s death, Gary Rossington released a statement on Twitter.
“I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened,” he said.
“Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player. I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in Rock & Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and his family.”