Tommy Allsup, a guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that later crashed and killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, has died. He was 85.
Singer and musician Austin Allsup — who competed on NBC’s The Voice in 2016 — says his father died Wednesday at a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, due to complications from a hernia operation.
Tommy Allsup was part of Holly’s band when the Lubbock, Texas, singer died in the 1959 plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Allsup flipped a coin to see if he or Valens would get a seat on the plane.
Austin Allsup said Thursday his father took losing the coin toss as a blessing and “knew that he was very lucky to be here.”