Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Band co-founder, dead at 80

Dickey Betts – singer, songwriter and guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band – has died.

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 - April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old,” loved ones confirmed Thursday in a post on Betts’ official Instagram account.

“The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family,” the statement continued. “Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide.

“At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be forthcoming at the appropriate time.”

The 80-year-old had been suffering from cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Ultimate Classic Rock reports.

Rolling Stone’s David Browne adds that the co-founder of “the Southern rock institution was known for ‘Ramblin’ Man,’ a countryfied guitar style all his own, and inspiring a character in ‘Almost Famous’.”

As part of the iconic Allman Brothers Band, Betts shared lead guitar duties with Duane Allman and helped to create a new genre in the 1960s and 1970s — Southern rock, according to The Associated Press.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, CMG’s National Content Desk reports. “Their Southern rock was an exciting fusion of rock, jazz, country and blues and was reflective of the emergency of the new South,” Willie Nelson said while inducting the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “And like many of us in those days who came from the South, we grew up in an environment of music that included a bit of everything.

“Music was not confined in such rigid formats, and the Allman Brothers Band took what moved them and merged it into something unique that audiences loved, a sound that redefined the direction of rock and roll and opened the doors to a spirit of experimentation that continues in today’s music.”

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