Blackberry Smoke founding member Brit Turner dies aged 57

Brit Turner has passed away after a battle with an aggressive brain tumour credit:Bang Showbiz
Brit Turner has passed away after a battle with an aggressive brain tumour credit:Bang Showbiz

Blackberry Smoke drummer Brit Turner has died aged 57.

The sticksman battled an aggressive form of brain tumour, glioblastoma, which he was diagnosed with in 2022.

In August of that year, he also suffered a heart attack at his home in Atlanta, and later had a stent fitted in his coronary artery before he was able to return to the stage.

Late last year, the band's founding member underwent brain surgery but was replaced by Kent Aberle for their 2024 shows.

A social statement from the band - comprising Paul Jackson, Charlie Starr, Richard Turner, and Brandon Still - read: “It is with the deepest sorrow that we inform everyone that our brother Brit Turner has moved on from this life.

“If you had the privilege of knowing Brit on any level, you know he was the most caring, empathetic, driven and endearing person one could ever hope to meet. Brit was Blackberry Smoke’s True North, the compass that instituted the ideology that will continue to guide this band.”

The American country rock group also launched a fundraising page for Brit's family.

They added: "Brit has battled glioblastoma since his diagnosis in the fall of 2022 and fought every day. We ask for prayers for his family and band brothers. More information on arrangements will be forthcoming. Thank you to everyone who has supported and been there for Brit and his family through this fight.

"If you would like to continue to support Brit's family at this time, please visit the link in our bio."

Tributes have flooded in for Brit, with Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash among those to pay their respects.

The axe-slayer, who shared a stage with Blackberry Smoke, posted to Instagram: “We lost a great guy and musician today, #BritTurner He will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to Brit’s family, friends and band mates. RIP.”

Country star Luke Combs wrote: “Damn. Can’t believe it. Brit was so awesome to me when he didn’t have to be. RIP.”

Black Stone Cherry posted: “We walked off stage last night to the devastating news of the passing of Brit Turner. BSC and Blackberry Smoke go way back to 2004 and this is a huge loss. We ask you to join us in sending so many prayers and so much love to Brit’s family, his band mates, and their families.”