Blackberry Smoke drummer Brit Turner has died

Brit Turner, the drummer of American country rock band Blackberry Smoke, has died at the age of 57.

Blackberry Smoke took to social media to break the news, writing: “It is with the deepest sorrow that we inform everyone that our brother Brit Turner has moved on from this life.”

Turner is believed to have succumbed to glioblastoma, with which he was diagnosed in the fall of 2022. Glioblastoma, also referred to as a grade four astrocytoma, is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour.

Following his diagnosis, Turner underwent brain surgery before he resumed touring with the band in 2023. However in late 2023, he revealed that he would have to sit out of the band’s 2024 dates, announcing Kent Aberle as his replacement.

Blackberry Smoke’s Brit Turner. Credit: Keith Griner/Getty Images

Blackberry Smoke continued in their post: “If you had the privilege of knowing Brit on any level, you know he was the most caring, empathetic, driven and endearing person one could ever hope to meet. Brit was Blackberry Smoke’s True North, the compass that instituted the ideology that will continue to guide this band.”

The band also shared that more information on arrangements will be shared in due time, and announced a fund to support Brit Turner’s family. For more information and donations, visit here.

Brit Turner was born in Michigan and raised in Georgia. In 2000, he and his brother formed Blackberry Smoke with singer-guitarist Charlie Sar and guitarist Paul Jackson. The band’s debut album ‘The Whippoorwhill’ was released in 2012 through country star Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label. The band’s latest album – and final with Brit Turner – was titled ‘Be Right Here’ and arrived in mid-February.

Following the news of Turner’s death, several bands and musicians have paid tributes to the late drummer. Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash wrote: “We lost a fucking great guy & musician today, #BritTurner He will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to Brit’s family, friends & band mates. RIP.”

Black Stone Cherry wrote: “We walked off stage last night to the devastating news of the passing of Brit Turner. BSC and Blackberry Smoke go way back to 2004 and this is a huge loss. We ask you to join us in sending so many prayers and so much love to Brit’s family, his band mates, and their families.”

Luke Combs wrote in the comments section of Blackberry Smoke’s post: “Damn. Can’t believe it. Brit was so awesome to me when he didn’t have to be. RIP.”