Lynyrd Skynyrd Piano Player Billy Powell Dead At 56

January 28, 2009

Billy Powell, longtime piano/keyboard player for Lynyrd Skynyrd who survived the band's infamous 1977 plane crash, died at his Orange Park condo early this morning.

Orange Park Police Chief James Boivin said Powell called 911 from his condo in and was pronounced dead at 1:52 a.m. after rescue crews performed CPR on him. Boivin said he was told Powell had an appointment with his heart specialist on Monday but never made it.

Current Lynyrnd Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant spent over 22 years with Powell in the band and said the band took the news of Powell's very death hard. "You know, they say they've got one hell of a band up in heaven. My brother Ronnie up in heaven is probably saying, 'Billy, what took you so long?' I'm sure they're catching up on things in heaven."

Photo: Michael Bush/Getty Images

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