Dickey Betts Of The Allman Brothers Band Passes Away At 80

(L) Recording Artist Dickey Betts at the press conference for the Gibson Custom Southern Rock tribute 1959 Les Paul at the Gibson Guitar Factory on May 19, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR) / (R) Singer and musician Dickey Betts of American rock group The Allman Brothers Band performs at the last night at Fillmore East, a nightclub on Second Avenue, New York City, before the closing of the venue, 27th June 1971. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
3:41 PM – Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dickey Betts, 80, has passed away. He was an influential singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, the legendary Southern rock group.


“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 – April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old,” said a statement posted by Betts’ official Instagram page. “The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family.”

“Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide,” the statement continued. “At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days.”

Along with brothers Duane and Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jaimoe Johanson, Betts co-founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, releasing their self-titled debut in the same year.

They went on to become one of the most well-known Southern rock bands and were especially well-known for their touring career, which featured lengthy sets interspersed with lengthy jam sessions.

Betts composed and delivered lead vocals on a number of hit songs, including “Blue Sky” and “Ramblin’ Man,” which was one of the band’s top-10 singles. He also played lead guitar in the group. The band’s well-known instrumental songs, “Jessica” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” were both written by him as well.

The Allman Brothers Band responded to the news of Betts’ demise “with deep sadness,” according to a statement they gave to ABC News through their publicist.

“His extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock,” the statement continued, in part. “He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing. Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.”

“Betts joins his brothers, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman, as well as ABB crew members Twiggs Lyndon, Joe Dan Petty, Red Dog, Kim Payne and Mike Callahan in that old Winnebago in the sky touring the world taking their music to all who will listen,” the statement concluded. “Play on Brother Dickey, you will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”

The Allman Brothers Band took a break over time while Betts focused on other endeavors, including as a solo career and the formation of various ensembles, such as Great Southern, Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks, and the Dickey Betts Band.

While Betts was still a member of the Allman Brothers Band, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2000, he left the Allman Brothers Band and never returned to perform with them.

Following Dickey’s passing, drummer Jaimoe Johanson, 79, is the last surviving co-founder of the Allman Brothers.

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