(CelebrityAccess) — Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of the seminal rock band The Allman Brothers, has died. He was 69.
News of Allman's passing was announced via the band's Twitter account: "It is with deep sadness we announce that Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away peacefully at his home"
In April, rumors suggested that Allman had entered hospice care, but representatives at the time refuted those claims. A cause of death was not disclosed, but, Allman battled numerous health issues in recent years, including his 2007 diagnosis of hepatitis C, which he attributed to a dirty tattoo needle.
In 2008, doctors discovered three tumors in his liver and he underwent a transplant in 2010. More recently, Allman battled a hernia, and a serious respiratory infection that forced Allman to cancel a tour supporting his upcoming album "Southern Blood."
Allman was best known for his long tenure at the helm of the Allman Brothers Band, a group he formed with his brother Duane in 1969, with Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny Johanson (drums).
The group was a hit machine in through the 1970s, releasing albums such as "At Fillmore East" (1971), "Eat A Peach" (1973), "Brothers and Sisters" (1973) and "Win, Lose or Draw" (1975), which all peaked in the top 10. The band's seminal hits include "Midnight Rider," "Melissa" and "Ramblin' Man."
However, the group's early success was tempered with tragedy after Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1972. As well, drug addiction and interpersonal issues plagued the band through the 1970s and they parted ways in 1976 after Allman testified against one of their security team Scooter Herring, who was facing charges of distributing cocaine.
After the group's dissolution, Allman formed the Gregg Allman Band, which would continue to be his side project for the rest of his life, serving as the vehicle for hits such as "I'm No Angel" and "One Way Out."
The Allman Brothers reformed several times over the next decades but Allman continued to battle addiction, including his infamous 1995 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductance speech where he was too intoxicated to finish his acceptance speech.
The Allmans returned in form in the 2000s, touring extensively and closing the decade out with a series of successful residencies at the famed Beacon Theater in New York which are regarded as high points in the band's history.
Over the course of his long career, Allman received numerous accolades, including several Grammys, as well as inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Allman is survived by his current wife Shannon Allman, along with their four children and three grandchildren.
According to his website, "The family will release a statement soon, but for now ask for privacy during this very difficult time." – Staff Writers