Ed King, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist, dead at 68

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ed King, the legendary guitarist who played both electric guitar and bass guitar for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Strawberry Alarm Clock, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 68.

King, a Nashville resident, is responsible for co-writing "Sweet Home Alabama" and his voice can be heard counting down in the beginning of the song. He also co-wrote hits such as "Saturday Night Special," "Poison Whiskey," "Mr. Banker," "Swamp Music," and many others.

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 along with some of his Lynyrd Skynyrd bandmates. He was with the band from 1972 until 1975, and again from 1987 until 1996.

King left Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996 due to congestive heart failure, and in 2011, King underwent a successful heart transplant.

In recent months, King had been battling cancer, and on Thursday, his family announced his death.

King was an icon to guitar players around the world and continued playing throughout his life, working with Nashville artists and staying a strong presence in the guitar community.

No funeral arrangements have been announced.

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