Jefferson Airplane co-founder Marty Balin dead at 76

Credit: Jason Merritt

Credit: Jason Merritt

Marty Balin, the co-founder of Jefferson Airplane and the band’s lead singer and guitarist, has died at age 76.

Billboard confirmed Balin’s death, although the cause is not clear. He died Thursday.

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“Marty and I shared the deepest of love — he often called it nirvana—and it was,” Balin’s wife, Susan, said in a statement, according to Billboard. “But really, we were all touched by his love. His presence will be within my entire being forever.”

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Lifetime Award recipient, Balin co-wrote some of the rock band’s biggest hits before leaving the band and joining Jefferson Starship in 1974. He went solo in 1978. Rolling Stone reported that Balin went back to Jefferson Airplane for a brief reunion tour in 1989. By 1993, he went back to Starship and left for good in 2008.

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