David Crosby, Founder of Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dead at 81 After 'Long Illness'

David Crosby, a founding member of bands Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has died. He was 81. "It is with great sadness after a long illness,

that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away," his wife said in a statement to Variety on Thursday. "He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and

son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary

music." She concluded, "Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for

privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers." RELATED: David Crosby, Who Helped Melissa Etheridge Conceive, Speaks

Out After Death of Her Son Beckett Crosby founded Byrds with members Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke and set the tone for '60s folk-rock music

from 1964-1967. Then, in 1968, Crosby got together with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies to create Crosby, Stills & Nash. In 1997,

the band was inducted into the Hall of Fame. In his personal life, Crosby grappled with addiction for several years. In 1994, he underwent liver transplant surgery. In

1982, he was arrested in Texas on drug and weapons charges — which led to five months in prison. In 2019, the rocker spoke to PEOPLE about his ups and downs, sharing

that through everything, it was music that kept him going.