Sad news out of Florida. Billy Powell, keyboardist for the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, has passed away. He was 56.
The Associated Press is reporting Powell called 911 to say that he was having trouble breathing. When emergency responders arrived they were unable to revive Powell. Powell had a history of heart problems.
Powell was a survivor of the 1977 plane crash that took the lives of singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines.
According to Rolling Stone, Powell is credited with the intro to Free Bird. From the official Lynyrd Skynyrd website,
According to BMI, 'Freebird' has been played on the radio more than 2 million times and the song remains near the top of all radio surveys.Somehow yelling "Freebird" at concerts will never be as fun again.