Molly Hatchet's Danny Joe Brown Dies

Southern rock vocalist was 53.

Southern rock vocalist Danny Joe Brown died of complications from diabetes March 10 at his home in Florida. He was 53.

A Jacksonville, Fla., native, Brown was best known for his work with Molly Hatchet, which he joined in 1975 along with guitarists Dave Hlubek, Steve Holland and Duane Roland; bassist Banner Thomas; and drummer Bruce Crump.

Brown was frontman for Hatchet's self-titled platinum debut album in 1978 on Epic Records. The next year, sophomore set "Flirtin' With Disaster" went double-platinum. Known for its fierce triple-guitar assault and Frank Frazzeta album covers, Molly Hatchet became one of Southern rock's top touring acts.

Brown left Molly Hatchet in 1980 and released one album as the Danny Joe Brown Band the following year. He periodically rejoined Hatchet in the '80s and '90s but retired in 1998 due to health issues.