Photo: AP

Greg Allman, who helped found the legendary Allman Brothers Band with his late brother Duane, died at his home in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday at the age of 69.

According to a statement published on Allman’s official website, the singer, songwriter, and musician had, “struggled with many health issues over the past several years.” In 2010, Allman underwent a liver transplant after being diagnosed with hepatitis C. The statement goes on to read:

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“During that time, Gregg consider being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”

Michael Lehman, Allman’s manager, said on Saturday that he’d, “lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

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Allman was the lead singer of the pioneering Souther rock band—famous for songs such as “Midnight Rider,” “Melissa,” and “Whipping Post”—for 45 years, despite the tragic motorcycle death of his bandmate and brother Duane Allman in 1971, at the age of 24 (the band was founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969).

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Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and suffered plenty of tragedy before achieving young stardom (this too, was not always easy—the drug addiction, the broken marriages—as Allman admitted in his 2012 memoir, My Cross To Bear). When Allman was an infant, his father was shot and killed by a drinking buddy, so Gregg and his brother were raised by their single mother.

Cher, who was briefly married to Allman, wrote of his passing, “words are impossible.”

Sad day, rest in peace.