By Jim Johnson

Gregg Allman has died at the age of 69 at his home in Savannah, Georgia. In making the announcement his website didn’t give a cause of death, but Allman had suffered from serious health issues over the past several years and had cancelled shows and tours as a result.

  • Allman was born on December 8th, 1947 in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • He, older brother Duane Allman and Dickey Betts formed The Allman Brothers Band. Gregg fronted the band and played the organ.
  • The Allmans released two dozen albums and went on countless tours. An annual stand at New York’s Beacon Theater was a highlight of the band’s touring schedule.
  • Gregg, who played organ and guitar, released eight albums as a solo artist, including 1986’s I’m No Angel.
  • His drug problems and a chaotic marriage to Cher nearly derailed his career, but he righted the ship and continued touring until last year.

Gregory Lenoir Allman was born December 8th, 1947 in Nashville, Tennessee. Although his older brother Duane would become a guitar legend, Gregg was the first Allman brother to pick up the instrument. The soulful singer and organ player joined Duane in early acts The Allman Joys and The Hour Glass before finding guitarist Dickey Betts and forming The Allman Brothers Band.

In addition to playing the Hammond B-3 organ and singing lead, Gregg wrote several classic Allman Brothers songs, including “Whipping Post” (included on the band’s self-titled 1969 debut) and “Midnight Rider” (from 1970’s Idlewild South). Duane died in a motorcycle crash at age 25, but The Allman Brothers lived on, releasing Brothers and Sisters in 1973. Around the same time, Gregg began a prolific solo career with the release of his less guitar-centric album Laid Back.The Gregg Allman Band’s pop-soul blend Playin’ Up a Storm followed in 1977.

Gregg’s career appeared to be over in the late ’70s. He was a heroin addict, ratted out the band’s road manager as a dealer and wound up a chaotic four-year marriage to Cher (the fourth of his six wives), with whom he had a son, Elijah Blue Allman. But his hiatus from music was only temporary. Starting with 1986’s I’m No Angel, Gregg released seven more solo albums and continued to record and tour with a revived Allman Brothers Band.

He suffered from Hepatitis C and had a liver transplant in 2010.

Gregg spent his autumn years with fiancée Shannon Williams. He published a memoir, My Cross to Bear, in 2012. She survives him, as do his four children — DevonElijah BlueDelilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman — and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that tributes to Gregg can be made to the Gregg Allman Scholarship Fund at The University of Georgia or the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University.

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