Former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King has died, aged 68

The musician, who played in the acclaimed rock band during two separate spells, passed away at his home in Nashville this week

The former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and musician Ed King has died at the age of 68.

King passed away yesterday (August 22) at his home in Nashville. A message on the guitarist’s Facebook page confirmed his passing, adding: “We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career.”

A cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but it has been reported that King had recently been hospitalised during a battle with lung cancer.

King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 where he initially replaced outgoing bassist Leon Wilkeson, before later becoming the band’s third guitarist.

He played on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first three albums – ‘(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)’ (released in 1973), ‘Second Helping’ (1974) and ‘Nuthin’ Fancy’ (1975) – and co-wrote arguably the band’s most famous song, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.

King left Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975 following a row with the late frontman Ronnie Van Zant. However, he lated rejoined the fold in 1987, and performed with the band until 1996. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington remembered King in a statement to Rolling Stone following the news of his passing.

“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 and Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Before Lynyrd Skynyrd, King co-founded the psych-rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock, who earned a number one single in the US back in 1967 with the King-co-written ‘Incense and Peppermints’.

A number of tributes to King have emerged on social media since news of his passing – see a selection of those below.