David Crosby Died After Contracting COVID-19, Graham Nash Says

The 81-year-old musician was previously reported to have died after battling a “long illness”

david crosby
David Crosby (Getty Images)

David Crosby’s longtime bandmate Graham Nash offered some more details on the final days for the legendary folk musician, saying that he died after contracting COVID-19 this past January.

In a new interview on the Consequence of Sound podcast “Kyle Meredith With…” Nash said that Crosby was rehearsing for a show in Los Angeles when he tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time.

“After three days of rehearsals, he felt a little sick. And he’d already had COVID, and he had COVID again. And so he went home and decided that he would take a nap, and he never woke up. But he died in his bed, and that is fantastic,” Nash said.

Crosby died on Jan. 19 at the age of 81, with his representatives saying at the time that the founding member of The Byrds had passed after battling a “long illness.” Crosby had dealt with multiple serious health issues over the decades, including diabetes, heart problems and multiple liver transplants.

“I think the truth is, we expected David to pass 20 years ago,” Nash said on the podcast. “I mean, the fact that he made it to 81 was astonishing… But it was a shock, kind of like an earthquake, you know? You get the initial shock and then you figure out that you survived. But these aftershocks keep coming up.”

As one of the leading figures of the Laurel Canyon folk movement of the ’60s and ’70s, Crosby was part of several of the most famous songs ever performed in the genre like The Byrds’ cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” As a member of Crosby, Stills and Nash, that list grew longer with hits like “Teach Your Children” and “Love the One You’re With.” Both bands were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Amidst the fame, Crosby was known for having drug and alcohol addiction problems and for having bitter fights with his bandmates in both The Byrds and CSN, something that he admitted to in recent interviews.

“Ladies and gentlemen… they threw me out of The Byrds because I was an a–hole,” Crosby said in the 2018 documentary “Echo in the Canyon.” “If you give kids millions of dollars, they’ll screw up…”

In the final years of his life, Crosby reconciled with many of his estranged bandmates, something that Nash said he was grateful for.

“I’m very pleased that David and I were getting closer towards the end,” Nash said. “He had a good life. I mean, what incredible music he made. He was a fantastic storyteller. I loved him dearly. In looking back at what separated us, it was just foolish stuff, really. The music is the most important part of our relationship.”