Artist - Blackberry Smoke - Brit Turner 1

Blackberry Smoke's Drummer, Brit Turner, Passes at 57

March 4, 2024 4:35 pm GMT

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Brit Turner, the longtime drummer for the Southern rock outfit Blackberry Smoke, passed away on Sunday (March 3) after a battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.

His bandmates, one of them being his brother, bassist Richard Turner, confirmed the news of his death to fans on social media.

"It is with the deepest sorrow that we inform everyone that our brother [Brit Turner] has moved on from this life," a post on the band's official Instagram read. "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."

Blackberry Smoke formed in 2000, in Atlanta, Georgia. With their blistering mix of rock and twang, the band revitalized the Southern rock style for a modern audience.

Turner was a driving force behind their sound from the very beginning, his anthemic drumming the foundation upon which the group built their sonic success.

"Brit was Blackberry Smoke’s True North," the band continued in their statement, "the compass that instituted the ideology that will continue to guide this band."

Even with his 2022 cancer diagnosis and the eventual surgery to remove his brain tumor, Turner continued to tour with Blackberry Smoke. His health and treatments forced him to sit out of some shows, with drummer Kent Aberle sitting in his place.

The band's most recent release, Be Right Here, would be Turner's final studio album with the band. The record, which dropped on Feb. 16, holds a poignant message: to live presently and honestly, a sentiment made all the more striking now.

In closing the band wrote, "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."

For more on Blackberry Smoke, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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