Lynyrd Skynyrd ranks among the most influential and iconic southern rock bands of all time, rising to superstardom during the 1970s thanks to radio staples like "Sweet Home Alabama" and the epic "Free Bird."
Lynyrd Skynyrd (so named in mocking tribute to a physical education teacher notorious for enforcing the school's policy against boys with long hair) formed in Jacksonville, Fla. in 1964. The classic lineup - lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, bassist Leon Wilkeson, drummer Robert Burns and keyboardist Billy Powell - spent years woodshedding its signature sound, which combines elements of blues, country and hard rock.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered plane crashed hours after an October 1977 performance in Greenville, S.C., claiming the lives of Van Zant and five others. After a decade-long hiatus, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited in the late 1980s with Van Zant's younger brother Johnny as lead vocalist. The band has sold more than 28 million records in the United States alone and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.