Poco Star Paul Cotton Unexpectedly Passes Away at Age 78

The Alabama-born guitarist has passed away ‘unexpectedly, peacefully’ at the age of 78, only several months after his former bandmate Rusty Young died of a heart attack.

AceShowbizPoco star Paul Cotton has died four months after bandmate Rusty Young.

The 78-year-old singer and guitarist passed away “unexpectedly, peacefully,” according to a note on his Facebook page.

Poco co-founder Jim Messina, who Cotton replaced in the band in 1970, has paid tribute to Cotton, calling him a “special musical kindred brother.”

“We spent time together before he joined Poco and indeed gave me a great honor when he filled my position,” Jim writes. “He came back into my life once again around 1995 when my son was three years old and we had a chance to spend some gracious moments together. I am now so very grateful I had a chance to meet up with Paul in 2009 when we performed together once again.”

“I last heard his voice on the evening of Rusty Young’s Radio Memorial that was hosted by John Cowan. The sound of his voice is now forever imprinted in my mind and in my heart. May he, this very kindhearted soul, rest in peace.”

Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Cotton played with a number of bands in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Illinois Speed Press.

He joined Poco in 1971 and first appeared on the band’s third album, “From the Inside”. He left the band in 1987 but rejoined in the early 1990s.

Cotton also released five solo albums, including 1990’s “Changing Horses” and 2014’s “100% Paul Cotton“.

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