Tim McGraw Honors The Legacy Of Late Allman Brothers Band Member Dickey Betts’ By Wearing His Iconic Guitar Strap

“…so sad that he’s gone,” McGraw shared.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 19, 2024


3:22 pm

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Tim McGraw, Allman Brothers Band Dickey Betts; Photos Courtesy Facebook, Tim McGraw, The Allman Brothers Band

In lieu of the recent death of former Allman Brothers Band member, Dickey Betts, Tim McGraw reveals how he now keeps the legendary artist’s legacy alive on stage. 

McGraw’s recent Instagram post included a photo of him wearing a multi-colored guitar strap on stage as he delivers his setlist of hits to the crowd. In his caption, he explained why this strap has now become an incredibly sentimental part of his performances. 

“Legendary Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band was kind enough to lend me his guitar strap for this tour. So honored to wear it and so sad that he’s gone. All of our love to his family and friends,” wrote McGraw. 

Details Behind Betts’ Passing

Fans learned of Betts passing on Thursday, April 18, when his family posted a heartfelt message to his official Instagram page regarding the disheartening news. 

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 – April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old,” the statement began. “The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family.”

PEOPLE has since verified, per the late artist’s manager David Spero, that Betts’ cause of death was “cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

“Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide,” the family added before requesting for prayers to be sent their way and for his followers to respect their privacy as they navigate this difficult time. 

Betts’ History With The Allman Brothers

Co-founded in 1969 by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman, the GRAMMY-winning band’s original members included Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson. Betts performed with the group band from 1969 through 2000, acting as lead guitar player alongside Duane. He initially stated that he was fired from the band, however, in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Drummer Jai Johanny Johanson, who also went by Jaimoe, claimed that it was actually Betts’s decision to part ways with the “Midnight Rider” singers. 

Regardless of what really happened, the band still honored Betts with a statement that was penned from the heart and shared via press release. 

“With deep sadness the Allman Brothers Band learned today that founding member Dickey Betts has passed away peacefully in his home in Sarasota, Florida, following a period of declining health,” the band wrote.

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The Band Members Remember The Late Guitarist

They went on to note how influential Betts’ was for the band, as he is responsible for penning several of their major career hits. 

“Dickey wrote quintessential Brothers songs including ‘Blue Sky,’ ‘Rambling Man,’ ‘Jessica,’ ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed’ and many others. His extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.”

“He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing. Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention…Betts joins his brothers, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman, as well as ABB crew, members Twiggs Lyndon, Joe Dan Petty, Red Dog, Kim Payne and Mike Callahan in that old Winnebago in the sky touring the world taking their music to all who will listen,” they continued.

In conclusion, they offered their sympathies to the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s friends, family and valued members of his crew.

“Our condolences to his immediate family Donna, Duane & Lisa, Christy & Frank, Jessica and Kim. Play on Brother Dickey, you will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”

The Allman Brothers Band received significant honors and accolades throughout their booming career, including their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and earned a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2012.

After leaving the group, Betts pursued his own solo endeavors and played with his own band, Great Southern, during which he got to share the stage with his son, Duane Betts, as the guitarist. 

He is survived by his wife, Donna, and four children, Duane, Christy, Jessica and Kim. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.