(LA Blade) David Crosby, arguably one of the most popular and enormously influential singer-songwriter-guitarists of the last century known for his folk ballads and rock standards, has died at the age of 81.

In a statement released by his wife Jan Dance and family to entertainment media outlet Variety on Jan. 19 the family said:

 “It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”

A founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he was remembered in a Facebook post by former bandmate Graham Nash writing:

“David was fearless in life and in music,” Nash said. “He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most.”

In a career spanning six decades, Crosby’s influence was felt by generations of Americans. He was also an ally of the LGBT community. In a May 2020 article, Rolling Stone writer Althea Legaspi, writing about the opioid overdose death of pioneering out lesbian musician Melissa Etheridge’s son, Beckett Cypher, who died at 21 noted that Crosby was the sperm donor.

Etheridge and Cypher, who met in 1988 during a video shoot, have two children — daughter, Bailey, and son, Beckett. For several years after their births, people speculated about the identity of the sperm donor for the children. In 2000, the couple revealed it was fellow musician David Crosby.

While the then-couple were vacationing in Hawaii, they met up with Crosby and his wife, Jan, and began discussing their want to have children, but they had a dilemma as to whom to have as a sperm donor. “And Jan said, ‘What about David?’” Etheridge told Rolling Stone. “It came from her, which was the best, most perfect way.” They thought it over for a year before they made the call. “For one, he’s musical, which means a lot to me, you know, and I admire his work,” says Etheridge. “And he has his own life, has his own family.”

Crosby told Rolling Stone he didn’t hesitate at his wife’s proposition that he be the donor. “Melissa and Julie are good people,” he said. “Nice set of values, they’re funnier than shit, and they’ve got courage. All rare stuff. You could see that they were in love with each other.”

Etheridge and Cypher split up in 2000, but they continued to co-parent. Etheridge is also the mother of twins, son Miller and daughter Johnnie.

Crosby’s support of the LGBTQ community was also expressed on his Twitter account.

Crosby earned 10 Grammy nominations and one win in his lifetime leaving behind a formidable contribution to the American Songbook.

A look back at his career is here on Variety.


 Los Angeles Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.