(AP) — A family friend says Ed King, a former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write several of their hits including “Sweet Home Alabama,” has died in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 68.
Scott Coopwood said in a statement that King died on Wednesday due to cancer.
King joined the band in 1972 and was part of their first three albums with their distinct three-guitar sound. He left the band two years before a plane crash killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines and four others in 1977. He rejoined the group 10 years later and played with them until he retired in 1996 due to heart problems.
King was also an original member of the California psychedelic group Strawberry Alarm Clock, which had a hit with “Incense and Peppermints” in 1967.
“I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened,” Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington tweeted. “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.”