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Nashville, Tenn. – A family friend says Ed King, a former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write several of their hits including “Sweet Home Alabama,” has died in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 68.

Scott Coopwood said in a statement that King died on Wednesday due to cancer.

King joined the band in 1972 and was part of their first three albums with their distinct three-guitar sound. He left the band two years before a plane crash killed two singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines in 1977. He rejoined the group 10 years later and played with them until he retired in 1996 due to heart problems.

King was also an original member of the California psychedelic group Strawberry Alarm Clock, which had a hit with “Incense and Peppermints” in 1967.

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