David Crosby is an American singer-songwriter who was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
He was born on August 14, 1941, in Los Angeles, California, USA. His parents were Floyd Crosby, an Academy Award-winning cinematographer and descendant of the Van Rensselaer family and Aliph Van Cortlandt Whitehead (a descendant of the prominent Van Cortlandt family).
Crosby developed an interest in acting, however, he began a lifelong pursuit of music creation at age 16 when his older brother gave him a guitar.
David briefly studied drama at Santa Barbara City College before dropping out to pursue a career in music.
In 1960, his parents divorced, and his father remarried Betty Andrews Crosby.
In the early ’60s, David formed a band with Gene Clark and Roger McGuinn, however, they didn’t have success until they became The Byrds when Michael Clarke and Chris Hillman came along.
In 1967, Crosby joined Buffalo Springfield on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival, which contributed to his dismissal from the Byrds.
In December 1969, he appeared with CSNY at the Altamont Free Concert, increasing his visibility after also having performed at Woodstock and Monterey Pop.
In 1971, David released his first solo album, ”If I Could Only Remember My Name,” featuring contributions by Young, Joni Mitchell, Nash, and members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana.
During an interview, he said:
”My songs emerge from my life, or wherever they do, unbidden and unplanned and completely on a schedule of their own. I can’t legislate a song into being, it just will not happen for me.”
In 1982, after being convicted of a few drugs and weapons offenses (the drug charges were related to possession of cocaine and heroin), David spent 9 months in a Texas state prison.
In 1985, he was arrested for drunken driving, a hit-and-run driving accident, and possession of drug paraphernalia and a concealed pistol.
In 1990, David took part, once again, in a short-lived Byrds reunion. This time only with Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn, recording 4 new songs for the boxed set The Byrds.
In 1991, he was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Byrds).
In 1994, Crosby lost his L.A. home as a result of massive earthquake damage.
In 1997, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of Crosby Stills & Nash).
On March 7, 2004, he was charged with illegal possession of about one ounce of marijuana, a weapon in the 3rd degree, illegal possession of ammunition, and illegal possession of a hunting knife.
In 2006, David, along with Nash, accompanied Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on sessions for his solo album, ”On an Island.”
At a concert in October 2008, David, looking quite thinner than in recent years, announced to the public that he had recently shed 55 pounds as a result of his struggles with type 2 diabetes.
In January 2014, he released his first solo album in two decades, ”Croz,” recorded in close collaboration with his son James Raymond at the latter’s home studio.
In February 2014, at the urging of his healthcare provider, David postponed the final dates of his solo tour in order to undergo an angiogram and a cardiac catheterization, based on the results of a routine cardiac stress test.
On August 26, 2016, he announced a U.S. tour behind his upcoming 5th solo LP, an 18-date trek to launch on November 18, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia.
In September 2017, David announced a solo album entitled ”Sky Trails,” again with Raymond, to be released on September 29, 2017, on BMG.
In April 2018, he appeared on NPR’s Live From Here, playing duets with host Chris Thile (an American mandolinist, songwriter, composer, singer, and radio personality, who is best known for his work in the progressive acoustic trio Nickel Creek).
On October 26, 2018, David released Here If You Listen on BMG, his 4th solo album in 5 years.
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David Crosby has been married to Jan Dance since May 16, 1987.
In January 2000, Melissa Etheridge (an American guitarist, singer-songwriter, and activist) announced that David was the biological father of 2 children with her then-partner Julie Cypher by means of artificial insemination.
David has 3 other children:
- a son, Django Crosby, who was conceived with wife Jan Dance after extensive fertility treatments while David’s liver was failing;
- a daughter, Donovan Crosby, with former girlfriend Debbie Donovan;
- a daughter, Erika, with Jackie Guthrie.
Moreover, he had a biological son, James Raymond, in 1962, who was placed for adoption and reunited with David as an adult.
David co-wrote many songs with Raymond. Crosby declared:
“He’s probably the person I write best with. We often write over the internet.”
He later added:
”I’ll send him a scrap of words and then we’ll expand on it or I’ll send him a complete set of words and he’ll say, ‘please let me see what I can come up with’ and he’ll send me back a demo of what he thinks the music should be.”
In a different interview, Crosby said:
“The relationship that’s developed with my son is absolutely uncanny and wonderful.”
In 1967, during the Byrds’ appearance at the Monterey Festival, Crosby publicly questioned the report of the Warren Commission covering the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.
He prides himself on making his music a bit mysterious. He explained:
“If I wanna talk to you about that dock, well, the answer is not to write a song saying, ‘Look at the great big dock, it’s made out of wood, don’t you think it’s cool?’ That’s not it.”
”The best songs take you a while to digest. And no two people get exactly the same picture from them, because they ignite a little fire in your imagination.”
David has criticized the presidency of Donald Trump.
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He was good friends with Larry Hagman (an American actor who is best known for playing baron J.R. Ewing in the 1980s soap opera Dallas), who also had a liver transplant.
David Crosby – Net Worth
Crosby earned most of his wealth by selling tickets to his concerts, merchandise, sponsors, selling his books (“Since Then: How I Survived Everything and Lived to Tell It” and Long Time Gone: The Autobiography of David Crosby), and selling his albums. He even asked $5 million to lend his name to a cannabis brand in 2019.
Therefore, David Crosby has an estimated net worth of $43 million.
Featured image source – © Guliver / Getty Images.
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