Published Aug 23, 2018Ed King — the former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist credited for co-writing the band's classic "Sweet Home Alabama" — has died.
King's passing was confirmed through his personal Facebook page. While a cause of death is unconfirmed, Nashville news station WTVF reports King had recently been battling cancer. He was 68.
King first joined Lynyrd Skynyrd as a bassist in 1972, moving to guitar upon the return of bassist Leon Wilkeson. King's switch to six strings created the Southern rock band's signature "triple guitar" sound alongside Gary Rossington and Allen Collins.
King played on the group's 1973 debut (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), 1974's Second Helping and 1975's Nuthin' Fancy. King left Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines, who was killed in a 1977 plane crash along with backup singer Cassie Gaines and lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant.
In 1987, King joined surviving members Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle in reforming Lynyrd Skynyrd, remaining with the band until he was forced to leave due to congestive heart failure in 1996.
King was also a co-founder of legendary Los Angeles psych-rock outfit Strawberry Alarm Clock, best known for their 1967 single "Incense and Peppermints."
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.