Singer-songwriter Gregg Allman, known for founding the Allman Brothers Band with brother Duane, has passed away at age 69. The musician underwent a liver transplant in 2010 and was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999, but his cause of death is unknown at this time.
Through his music, Allman cemented himself in the annals of rock history by creating a hard-drinking outlaw appearance and producing legendary southern rock tracks like "Midnight Rider," "Whipping Post," and "Melissa."
Allman led the Allman Brothers Band solo for 45 years, with his older brother Duane having been killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971. A year and ten days after Duane, regarded as a seminal rock guitarist, was killed, tragedy struck the band once again when bassist Berry Oakley passed away.
In addition to their image as a hard-living band, these tragedies also gained the band notoriety as a symbol of perseverance, fighting through all the tragedies they faced.
The Allman Brothers Band first cracked the Billboard Top 200 with their self-titled debut in 1970, going on to appear on the chart 24 more times over the next 34 years. Their album Brothers and Sisters made it to the number one spot for five weeks in 1973, with three other albums appearing in the top ten.
In addition to their albums making the charts, the group earned ten Billboard Hot 100 hits between 1971 and 1981 with songs like "Crazy Love" and "Straight From the Heart," with their biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man," peaking at number two in October of 1973.
According to Nielsen Music, The Allman Brothers Band has sold over 9 million albums in the United States.
Allman also achieved success as a solo musician, with seven albums cracking the Billboard 200, the highest of which being Low Country Blues in 2001 and with the song "Midnight Rider" peaking at 19 in 1974.
After the band's many trials, tribulations, and tragedies of the '70s and '80s, they reunited in the mid-'90s and began an annual three-week run of shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York's Upper West Side. During these performances, Allman would spend most of his time behind his organ, often only stepping to center stage with an acoustic guitar to perform "Melissa."
Allman struggled with drug and alcohol abuse throughout his life, but described in a Dan Rather interview in 2015 that no drug could come close to the power of being on stage, revealing, "I've walked onstage with an abscessed tooth and as soon as you get out there, it goes away." He added, "Walk offstage, it comes back. It's the land of no pain."
In March, he announced that he was canceling all of his shows for the remainder of the year, marking his performance of "One Way Out" as his very last.
He is survived by children Elijah Blue, Michael, Devon, Delilah, and Layla.