Larry Junstrom, a founding member of American southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died at the age of 70.

Junstrom played with an early line-up of the band, which went on to have a worldwide hit with the epic guitar track Freebird, and later became the longtime bassist for fellow southern rockers.38 Special, Rolling Stone magazine reports.

He joined singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitar players Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, and drummer Bob Burns for an early Skynyrd line-up but had departed by the time they recorded their debut album, 1973's Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd.

.38 Special performing in Chicago in 1986. Pictured are, from left, Larry Junstrom and Don Barnes. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

In 1977, Junstrom joined .38 Special and played and recorded with the group up until his retirement in 2014, playing on hits like Hold on Loosely, Rockin’ into the Night, and Caught Up in You.

 "The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us, said members of .38 Special in a tribute.

"He rocked arenas all over the world and succeeded in living his dream. He was truly one of a kind, a congenial traveling companion and a great friend to all with a humorous slant on life that always kept our spirits high - a kind man with a big heart for everyone who crossed his path. There will never be another like him."

Lynyrd Skynyrd is currently on the road with their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour.

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