Photo: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage
Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane Founder & Songwriter, Dies At 76
On Sept. 27 inspiring singer-songwriter Marty Balin died, in the company of his wife. One of the leading voices behind the rock revolution, he co-founded Jefferson Airplane and went on to co-found Jefferson Starship as well as achieving success as a solo artist. Jefferson Airplane received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Balin was born in Cincinnati in 1942. His vocals blended with bandmates Grace Slick and co-writer — on classics such as "Volunteers" — Paul Kantner helped define the psychedelic and politically conscious culture of the late 1960s. The "Volunteers of America" led a revolution in their music with the attitude that "one generation got old — one generation got soul."
In 1998 Jefferson Airplane's 1967 single "White Rabbit" was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, followed in 1999 by the album it appeared on, Surrealistic Pillow.
"Marty Balin was a respected singer, songwriter, and musician best known as lead vocalist and founding member of Jefferson Airplane," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Balin was a pioneer of psychedelic rock and will be remembered for bringing the signature sound to San Francisco and beyond. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, and all who have been impacted by his work."