Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar player Ed King (68) loses cancer battle
Former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King has died aged 68.
Family friend Scott Coopwood said King died after a battle with cancer in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday.
King joined the band in 1972 and was part of their first three albums with its distinct three-guitar sound.
He is credited on several of Lynyrd Skynyrd's songs including Saturday Night Special and Workin' For MCA, and his voice can be heard providing the opening count on Sweet Home Alabama.
"Ed was our brother and a great songwriter and guitar player," said Gary Rossington, a founding member of the band.
"I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in rock and roll Heaven."
King left the band two years before a plane crash killed singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines in 1977.
He rejoined 10 years later when it reunited with Johnny Van Zant taking his brother's place and played until he retired in 1996 due to heart problems.
He underwent a heart transplant in 2011.