Dean Daughtry, Co-Founder of Atlanta Rhythm Section, Dies at 76

Band member Steve Stone said Daughtry died of natural causes

Dean Daughtry of Atlanta Rhythm Section
Via the Atlanta Rhythm Section on Facebook

Dean Daughtry, the keyboardist best known as a co-founder of the hitmaking soft rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section, has died Thursday. He was 76.

Daughtry’s death was confirmed by Steve Stone, the band’s guitarist, on Facebook where he said Daughtry died of natural causes.

“We’re sad today to announce the passing of our long-time, and original member Dean “OX” Daughtry,” the group’s Facebook page said. “For 49 years he never missed a gig, until his health forced him to retire a couple of years ago, cutting short his goal of 50 years. He was like a Bulldog, but his friends knew him as “OX” Our hearts go out to his wife Donna, and his family. We’re gonna’ miss you, Ol’ Buddy!”

According to USA Today, before joining ARS in 1971, where he remained the band’s sole consistent member until retiring in 2020, Daughtry played keyboards in the bands Classics IV and The Candymen. The Candymen had hits in 1967 and 1968 with “Georgia Pines” and “Ways,” respectively, and often played as the backing band for Roy Orbison.