Marty Balin, one of the main founders of Jefferson Airplane, died at the age of 76 this weekend. According to reports, the Grammy-nominated artist lost his life while in Tampa, Florida.
He was on his way to a hospital, stated his spokesman, Ryan Romensko, as reported by the Associated Press. However, at this time, his cause of death is unclear.
On the musician’s Facebook page, his family confirmed the news of his death, writing, “With a heavy heart we share this sad news.” The legendary songwriter and vocalist for Jefferson Airplane “passed away on the 27th of September.”
Marty is arguably one of the most important figures in the history of rock music, beginning in the 1960’s, playing a key role in the psychedelic rock scene at the time, along with the legendary Jimi Hendrix.
His family wrote on their Facebook page that his music served as the “soundtrack to all of life’s monumental moments.” In 1965, Marty created the band with the guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Skip Spence, and Signe Toly Anderson.
They quickly became famous in San Francisco, and Balin played a part in the creation of the club, The Matrix, which featured many popular bands of that era, including Velvet Underground, Janis Joplin, and The Doors – all legends in their own right.
Jefferson Airplane found fame in 1967 with their songs, “Somebody To Love,” and “White Rabbit.” Due to tensions within the band. Balin left the group in 1971, and went on to start Jefferson Starship.
Balin’s health problems became public knowledge in 2016, when, while promoting his latest record, The Greatest Love, he had to go to the hospital for chest pains.
The New York Post reported that he had to go under the knife for a triple bypass surgery and a heart replacement. Afterward, Balin sued the hospital for malpractice. As a result of the process, Marty lost his thumb and had a paralyzed vocal chord.