He helped set up two major bands in the 1960s: The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. He was renowned for his guitar-playing and vocal harmonies.
His career saw him achieve the rare feat of being inducted to the revered Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Former bandmates saluted Crosby's creative talents, while acknowledging the conflicts they had endured.
Crosby was born in California on 14 August 1941, the son of Oscar-winning Hollywood cinematographer Floyd Crosby.
He joined The Byrds in 1964 - a folk-rock group which scored its first hit with a cover of Bob Dylan's Tambourine Man.