|Birth: ||Jun. 3, 1952|
|Death: ||Jan. 28, 2009|
Musician. Born William Norris Powell, Billy was the keyboardist for the legendary Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Formed in 1966, Powell became the group's keyboard player in 1972 one year before the release of their first album. Lynyrd Skynyrd became one of the South's most popular rock and roll bands with hits like "Free Bird", What's Your Name" and their all time biggest song "Sweet Home Alabama". The band experienced tragedy on October 20, 1977 when their chartered plane crashed in a swamp near McComb, Mississippi killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant; guitarist Steve Gaines; Gaines' sister, vocalist Cassie Gaines; as well as an assistant road manager. Billy Powell survived the crash suffering facial injuries. He was the only survivor well enough to attend the funerals of those who died. A couple of years after the crash, Powell and fellow members Allen Collins, Gary Rossington and Leon Wilkeson formed the Rossington-Collins Band. It broke up in 1982. In 1987 Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie's brother, and a new Lynyrd Skynyrd Band went on a tribute tour, and Powell was on hand again in 1991 when the revived version of the band put out a new album, "Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991". The band's last album, "Vicious Cycle," was released in 2003. In 2006 Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Powell, who had a history of heart problems, died one hour after he called 911 saying he was having trouble breathing. (bio by: Ron Moody)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Ron Moody
Record added: Jan 29, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33363607
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