Marty Balin, founder and lead singer of the 1960s pioneering rock band Jefferson Airplane, has died at age 76, his spokesman announced. Balin died Thursday in Tampa, Florida while en route to a hospital, spokesman Ryan Romenesko said Friday. No details were available on the cause of death. Balin was a driving force behind San Francisco’s psychedelic rock scene in the 1960s and a fixture of the city’s counterculture community at the time. He was an original owner of the Matrix, a club that has been credited with helping to launch the careers of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, among others. Balin’s voice can be heard in the Jefferson Airplane hits “Today” and “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” and he also sang several lead songs after the band regrouped as Jefferson Starship in the 1970s. Balin continued to produce his own solo music up until shortly before his death. In 2016, when Jefferson Airplane received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, he released several new songs on “The Greatest Love.” He leaves behind two daughters, Jennifer Edwards and Delaney Balin, and two stepdaughters, Rebekah Geier and Moriah Geier.
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