Gregg Allman, of Allman Brothers Band Fame, Dead at 69

"It is with deep sadness that we announce that Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia", read a message posted on his official website. He announced August 5 that he was "under his doctor's care at the Mayo Clinic" due to "serious health issues".

Other health problems plagued Allman, including Hepatitis C, which he said he contacted decades earlier through a tattoo needle, bulging discs in his back, and an upper respiratory condition stemming from a liver transplant.

The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards. Between those albums, tragically, Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident, followed a year later by Oakley's eerily similar demise. Over the years, the band broke up and reformed several more times and swapped out musicians.

Allman had been working on a yet-to-be-released solo album entitled "Southern Blood". Sadly, the group didn't have long to enjoy their new success as Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971. His father's life was cut short when Gregg was just 2 years old.

At Duane's funeral, Gregg played songs on his older brother's antique guitar. So they put out a live album, "At Fillmore East", recorded over two nights at a NY club. "In fact, I appreciate it all more and understand it much better", Allman told the Wall Street Journal in 2015.

The Allmans' fame grew exponentially, and in 1973 they played before a record-breaking 600,000 fans at The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, N.Y., alongside the Grateful Dead and The Band. The Allman Brothers Band welcomed Lamar Williams on bass and keyboardist Chuck Leavell to fill-out the now one-guitar lineup.

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"We used to write songs in a graveyard in Macon", Allman said. "You've got to keep laughing".

Allman's death comes after rumors circulated last month that he had entered hospice care. They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977.

"Gregg was just a pretty boy", drummer Butch Trucks told Rolling Stone in 1999.

"I am totally satisfied doing what I'm doing, and I pray I can do it as long as possible", he said."If I can play and die on the same day, that'd be quite all right with me".

"Every now and then", Allman wrote in his 2012 memoir, "I'll think of all the hell I caused other people over the years". "As much as I hate it, it's time for me to take some real time off to heal". "You've been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you're just totally engulfed".

Hall reported from Nashville, Tennessee.

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