Todd Nance, the founding drummer of Georgia southern rock band Widespread Panic, has died at the age of 57. According to Relix, Nance's family issued a statement announcing his death, and explaining that he died "from sudden and unexpectedly severe complications of a chronic illness." No official cause of death has been given.
Nance helped to found Widespread Panic in the late '80s, and would go on to play in the band until 2016. It is reported that his "chronic illness" was likely what led to his exit from the group. In a statement on Nance's passing, Widespread Panic wrote, "With heavy hearts and loving memories we say goodbye to our Brother Todd Alton Nance. Widespread Panic was born the night of Todd's first show… For thirty years Todd was the engine of the Widespread Panic. He wrote great songs, and was a giving and forgiving collaborator. T Man was the epitome of a 'team player.' Drove the band and drove the van. Funny, adventurous, and a very kind soul, we wish Todd and his family peace during the sad time after so many happy times. Safe travels, Brother Todd."
Roger Hawkins, the great Muscle Shoals session musician, once watched Widespread Panic recording an album and called them the "transition magicians." It was the highest of compliments. The backbone and driver of it all was this guy. RIP Todd Nance. So many great memories. So sad. pic.twitter.com/juMiRj92dN— Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) August 19, 2020
Many of Nance's peers have since come out to mourn his death, with North Mississippi Allstars' Cody Dickinson writing, "Todd had that deep, southern boogie groove. Undeniable and infectious. The real deal Holyfield. His signature drumming style influenced so many. His many great performances brought happiness and joy to us all. Todd would always invite me to sit in and play with WSP. I mean ALWAYS. Of all the drummers who have shown me so much love and support all these years, he was the guy who would say, 'come on Cody, play drums during my solo. Or washboard. Whatever you want.' Who does that?? Todd Nance. That's who."
"Todd Nance was a sweet man and a great musician. So sad to learn of his passing. Thinking of y'all, [Widespread Panic]. Love you folks," added singer and songwriter Jason Isbell, who is a former member of fellow southern rock outfit, Drive-By Truckers. At this time, it does not appear that any funeral or memorial arrangements have been announced for Nance.