(hennemusic) Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd has announced its future plans following the recent passing of the group's last original founding member Gary Rossington.
In a newly-released statement, the band says the current members - led by Johnny Van Zant, the group's lead singer for the past 36 years - were unsure if they would continue following Gary's untimely passing. After much discussion with the band, the families of Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, and Dale Rossington, the collective has reached unified support, and feel that continuing to perform live, and keeping the music alive, is in the best interest of the fans and everyone involved.
"I recently lost my husband and partner of over 41 years," says Dale Rossington. "He was an amazing father, grandfather, brother and friend, but most importantly was a world class musician and songwriter. It's been my honor and privilege to share the stage with him for all these years. His music touched so many millions of people around The World, and Gary was always the first to say how, 'Skynyrd's music is bigger than me or any one person.' Gary made it known at every chance to express how timeless the music was, and it was always his goal to keep the music alive for his brothers because that was always their dream. He spent his entire life trying to carry on that dream for Ronnie, Allen, Steve and all the others over the years. While he was not able to physically be on stage with the current lineup over the last couple years, he supported them in every way. His dream will continue thanks to Johnny, Rickey and the rest of our band mates to continue to carry his legacy and music on for future generations."
"Gary was not only my brother, bandmate and friend, I think he loved me as much as I loved him," adds Johnny Van Zant. "We would do anything for each other. We laughed, we fell, we cried and made up, and shared the stage for the last 36 years. Gary, along with my brother Ronnie and Allen started this band and left us all a legacy of music that has stood the test of time, and crossed three generations of fans. The music they created, and the music we created, together since 1987, was always meant to be experienced LIVE. We have come together with the founding band member estates, and everyone involved, and feel the music should continue for everyone to love and enjoy. So we will continue to perform for the Skynyrd Nation."
An all-star cast that included Slash, Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes and Paul Rodgers performed a tribute to Rossington and the band at the CMT Music Awards in Austin, TX on April 2.
Get more details - including Lynyrd Skynyrd's 2023 live schedule - here.