Gregg Allman, founder of The Allman Brothers Band, underwent liver transplant surgery at the Mayo Clinic on Wednesday. He was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in late 2007 and has been battling the disease ever since. Chronic liver damage led to the decision to go forward with a transplant, and the musician has been on a waiting list awaiting a suitable donor organ.
Allman got the call late Tuesday afternoon at his home in Savannah, Ga., and drove to Jacksonville, Florida in preparation for surgery early this morning, according to his manager Michael Lehman. Doctors estimate he will be hospitalized for a week, and will need to stay close to the hospital for three weeks after that to watch for signs of organ rejection. He plans to walk his daughter down the aisle on July 26.
The 62-year-old singer and songwriter has been active in the music industry since 1965. He struggled with cocaine, heroin, and alcohol addiction beginning in the 1970's and reportedly has been sober since the mid-1990's.
He was indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2006. His distinctive Southern-accented voice earned him a spot on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list.
The veteran rocker was been married at least six times, mostly notably to Cher from 1975-1979. They have a son Elijah Blue Allman, half-brother to Chaz Bono.
Allman has four other children and two grandchildren. His musical talents have rubbed off on his offspring, who have all been associated with bands.
Tour plans have reportedly been suspended until further notice. Doctors have led the rocker to believe that he will be well enough to resume his career in November. Allman said in a press release: "I changed my ways years ago, but we can't turn back time. Every day is a gift, and I can't wait to get back on the road making music with my friends."
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