Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist dies

Billy Powell was 56

Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist dies
Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died early this morning (January 28) at his home in Orange Park, Florida.

Powell, who has a history of heart problems, called 911 emergency at about 12:55 am because he was having trouble breathing. When rescue crews arrived they tried to perform CPR but were unsuccessful in reviving the 56-year-old, reports the Associated Press.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, but a heart attack is suspected.

Powell was one of the original members of the Southern rock band, which was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. He is also one of the few survivors of a 1977 plane crash that took the lives of Lynyrd Skynyrd's lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie Gaines as well as the members of the band's road crew.

The band achieved fame in the early 1970s with their songs including 'Free Bird' and 'Sweet Home Alabama', which reached the top of the US chart in 1974.

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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