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Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band best known for popularizing the southern rock genre during the 1970s. Originally formed in 1964 as My Backyard in Jacksonville, Florida, the band used various names such as The Noble Five and One Percent, before coming up with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969. The band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its live performances and signature tunes "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". At the peak of their success, three members died in an airplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the band's most popular incarnation.
In the summer of 1964, teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the earliest incarnation of the band in Jacksonville, Florida as My Backyard. The band then changed its name to The Noble Five. The band used different names before using One Percent during 1968.

In 1969, Van Zant sought a new name. The group settled on Leonard Skinnerd, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school's policy against boys having long hair. Rossington dropped out of school, tired of being hassled about his hair. The more distinctive spelling was being used at least as early as 1970. Despite their high school acrimony, the band developed a friendlier relationship with Skinner in later years, and invited him to introduce them at a concert in the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum.[9] Skinner also allowed the band to use a photo of his Leonard Skinner Realty sign for the inside of their third album

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