Blackberry Smoke Drummer Brit Turner Has Died

The co-founding member of the Georgia-based band was 57.

By Andy Kahn Mar 4, 2024 7:57 am PST

Blackberry Smoke drummer Brit Turner has died according to an announcement from the band. The co-founding member of the Georgia-based band was 57.

Brit Turner formed Blackberry Smoke in Atlanta in 2000 alongside his brother, bassist Richard Turner, frontman Charlie Starr, keyboardist Brandon Still and guitarist Paul Jackson. A statement from the band about their bandmate and brother read:

It is with the deepest sorrow that we inform everyone that our brother Brit Turner has moved on from this life. 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. Brit has battled glioblastoma since his diagnosis in the fall of 2022 and fought every day. We ask for prayers for his family and band brothers. More information on arrangements will be forthcoming. Thank you to everyone who has supported and been there for Brit and his family through this fight.

Turner played drums on Blackberry Smoke’s debut album, Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime, which was released in 2003. Subsequent albums topped Billboard charts, including 2015’s Holding All the Roses and 2016’s Like an Arrow, which both went to #1 on the Country Albums chart.

Turner was the anchor of Blackberry Smoke’s live performances. The road warriors have built a strong following among Southern rock enthusiasts, sharing live stage with many elite musicians including Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Billy Strings, Marcus King and Jamey Johnson.

Brit Turner’s final appearance on a Blackberry Smoke album was the recently released Dave Cobb-produced Be Right Here, which came out days after Turner’s birthday on February 14.

While recording Be Right Here, Turner dealt with two major health setbacks. In August 2022, the drummer suffered a heart attack at his home in Atlanta that required the placement of a stent in his coronary artery. In November 2022, Brit Turner was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer that forced Turner to undergo surgery to remove a tumor.

A fund was established to help support Brit Turner’s family. Donations may be made via this link.

Blackberry Smoke recently embarked on a tour in support of Be Right Here with drummer Kent Aberle filling in for Turner. Blackberry Smoke brought Aberle on board for shows in December 2023 while Turner continued to receive treatment for glioblastoma. Aberle shared a separate message in response to Turner’s untimely death:

Thank you. Thank you for trusting in me and bringing me into your family. Thank you for the lessons in humbleness, kindness, compassion, determination, and patience. Thank you for the insane belly aching laughter from your stories after shows. Everyday, every groove I play you will be with me. It all means so much more. Rest easy brother. I love you and will miss you so much. God bless the Turner and Blackberry Smoke families and all the BBS brothers and sisters around the world. Through us Brit’s love and energy will live on. Love you!


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