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Rickie Lee Reynolds dead: Black Oak Arkansas rocker dies aged 72

Rickie Lee Reynolds suffered cardiac arrest in hospital (Picture: Rex Features)

Rickie Lee Reynolds, member of the rock group Black Oak Arkansas, has died at the age of 72.

The guitarist was recently hospitalised with Covid before suffering kidney failure and later cardiac arrest. His daughter confirmed he died on Sunday. 

Announcing his death in an Instagram post, Reynolds’ daughter Amber Lee wrote: ‘Unfortunately, this morning he suffered another cardiac arrest, which they were unable to resuscitate him from. 

‘We are all heartbroken by this massive loss, and the whole world feels colder and more empty without his presence among us. 

‘Please take a moment of silence today to remember all of the love he gave to the world, and take some time to give back some of those wonderful feelings that he gave us all in our times of need.’ 

Paying tribute to her father, Lee continued: ‘All of my love goes out to those who feel this overwhelming loss right now, just as I do. 

‘Please take heart in knowing he loves all of us, as much as we love him. And he felt that love every day in the center of his big ole heart. He will continue to feel that love, forever. Just as we will never forget the love he bestowed upon us.’ 

Reynolds was a founding member of Black Oak Arkansas (Picture: Getty Images)

Reynolds was a founding member of Black Oak Arkansas alongside vocalist Ronnie Smith, guitarists Stanley Knight and Harvey Jett, bassist Pat Daugherty and drummer Wayne Evans. Jim Mangrum later became frontman after the band decided he was a better fit, and Smith then became their stage manager. 

Black Oak Arkansas are known for their blend of rock, country and blues, and notched up three gold-certified albums in the 1960s and 70s. Some of their most notable songs include Gigolo, Up, Hot Rod and When Electricity Came To Arkansas. 

As much as their success, the group also experienced lows, including backlash for the single When Electricity Came To Arkansas from Christians who believed it featured Satanic messaging. 

Reflecting on their challenges, Reynolds once said: ‘When we wanted to begin enjoying life, we were left high & dry. We all lost our homes, cars, publishing and almost lost our band name. It got blamed on bad investments. 

‘All I know is some of us had to pawn our Gold albums to feed our families.’ 

Reynolds quit the band in 1977 before rejoining in 1984 and remaining until his death.

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