Singer-songwriter Gregg Allman dead at 69

US singer-songwriter Greg Allman at a music event in 2006.
US singer-songwriter Greg Allman at a music event in 2006.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Gregg Allman, the powerfully bluesy singer and songwriter who co-founded the Allman Brothers Band and emerged as a trailblazer of Southern rock, has died at the age of 69.

Allman died peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia, according to a statement posted Saturday on his website.

No cause of death was immediately given, but a statement on his website said he had "struggled with many health issues over the past several years."

Allman, who played keyboards and guitar and also sang, was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010, Billboard reported on its website.

Allman's brother Duane, a co-founder of the group and a legendary guitar player, died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24.

Gregg Allman, known for his gentle manner and long blond hair parted in the center, went on to front the band on his own for decades. The group was fabulously popular, particularly in the 1970s.

Billboard said that since Nielsen Music began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991, the Allman Brothers Band have sold 9.3 million albums in the United States.

The group's best-known hits include Whipping Post, Midnight Rider, Melissa and Ramblin' Man.