LOS ANGELES • Marty Balin, a co-founder of the legendary rock band Jefferson Airplane whose soulful tenor gave the band its distinctive sound, has died at the age of 76, his representative said last Friday.
The guitarist and singer, who co-founded the psychedelic group in San Francisco in 1965, died last Thursday and his wife, Susan Joy Balin, was by his side, spokesman Ryan Romenesko said in a statement. The cause of death was not announced.
Balin teamed up with guitar player Paul Kantner in San Francisco and the band launched their debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, in 1966. Kantner died in 2016.
The band, best known for their hits sung by vocalist Grace Slick, including Somebody To Love and White Rabbit, played at the Woodstock music festival in 1969 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Balin also wrote songs like Volunteers and Today for the band. He also contributed to hits, including Runaway and Miracles, for Jefferson Starship, the splinter band that he played in for a number of years.
The band went through various line-ups and Balin left Jefferson Starship in 2008 to focus on a solo career.
Balin had heart surgery in 2016 and in August this year he filed a civil lawsuit for malpractice against a New York City hospital, saying he left the hospital with a damaged tongue and vocal chords.