Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gary Rossington 'Expects a Full Recovery' After Emergency Heart Surgery

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Guitarist Gary Rossington, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, performs onstage during Day 2 of the Stagecoach Music Festival on April 27, 2019 in Indio, California.
Guitarist Gary Rossington, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, performs onstage during Day 2 of the Stagecoach Music Festival on April 27, 2019 in Indio, California.

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Gary Rossington, the last living founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, is currently recovering from emergency heart surgery.

The lead guitarist "expects a full recovery," according to a statement posted to the band's Facebook page.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Gary Rossington as he recovers from emergency heart surgery," the post began. "Gary is home resting and recovering with his family at home. He wants everyone to know he is doing good and expects a full recovery."

The band added that their upcoming shows will continue without Rossington as he recovers. "After this past year, the country being shut down and everything we have all been thru, The Rossington's encouraged the band to go perform in his absence," the band explained. "Music is a powerful healer! We all felt playing the shows and bringing the music to y'all was a better option than cancelling the performances."

RELATED: Lynyrd Skynyrd Founding Bassist Larry Junstrom Dead at 70

"We wish Gary a speedy recovery and we will see the Skynyrd Nation very soon!" the post concluded. "Please do us a favor and say some prayers for the Rossington family and if you would like to leave him a (positive) message please do! He will look forward to reading them!"

Rossington previously suffered a heart attack in October 2015. He then had to undergo emergency heart surgery in 2016 before having a heart valve repaired in 2019, both times forcing the band to postpone several tour dates.

"I've had heart attacks on stage a lot," Rossington admitted to The Tampa Bay Times in 2018, claiming that his doctors had been urging him to quit working for 15 years.

He formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in the summer of 1964 with Ronnie Van Zant, Bob Burns, Allen Collins, and Larry Junstrom in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

Lynyrd Skynyrd (L-R Ed King, Leon Wilkeson, Artimus Pyle, Billy Powell, Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zandt and Gary Rossington pose for a portrait in January 1975.
Lynyrd Skynyrd (L-R Ed King, Leon Wilkeson, Artimus Pyle, Billy Powell, Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zandt and Gary Rossington pose for a portrait in January 1975.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Rossington and Collins were injured in the 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant. "It was the worst thing that ever happened to me," Rossington told PEOPLE in 1980 when he and Collins released their debut album as the Rossington Collins Band. "One day we had everything, the next day there was nothing. We were on top of the world, and we were thrown down."

Collins died from chronic pneumonia in 1990, a complication from being paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in 1986. Burns died in a car crash in 2015, and Junstrom died in 2019, but the cause of his death has not been disclosed.

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