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Star of 70s band found dead

Rock musician Gregg Allman dies, aged 69

Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers, has died aged 69.

He launched the band with older brother Duane and it became one of the headline acts of the 1970s, pioneering a brand of southern rock which opened the door for such other Southern acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Allman was the band’s lead singer and keyboardist, and wrote many of their best known songs including the 1973 hit Jessica which was used as the opening theme tune to Top Gear.

Singer Cher, to whom he was married in the 1970s, shared a photo of the couple in a tweet.

He lived a life touched by illness, excess and tragedy. Married and divorced six times, he is survived by three sons and two daughters, all by different mothers. Four of the children are professional musicians.

Two members died in motorcycle accidents, his brother and revered guitarist Duane at the age of 24 in 1971, and bassist Berry Oakley a year later. In 1949, the Allman’s father was shot dead by a man he offered a ride to in a bar.

Gregg Allman, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, struggled with drug abuse, becoming a heroin addict in the 1970s. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

He died of complications from liver cancer, his longtime manager, Michael Lehman said.

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