Kevin Nixon/Metal Hammer Magazine/ Future Publishing via Getty ImagesFounding Molly Hatchet guitarist Dave Hlubek has died at the age of 66. The Jacksonville, Florida native’s death was announced Sunday in a message penned by longtime guitarist Bobby Ingram that was posted on the Southern-rock band’s official Facebook page.

“It is with great sorrow to announce the passing of our beloved friend and band member Dave Hlubek,” writes Ingram. “Dave was one of the founding lead guitarists of Molly Hatchet. Amongst his many contributions to southern rock is ‘Flirtin’ with Disaster.’ Our condolences and our prayers go out to his family during this time of loss. He will be missed but never forgotten, as the music lives on through his legacy in Molly Hatchet.”

Hlubek’s cause of death was not revealed.

Hlubek formed Molly Hatchet in 1971 and played with band until the late 1980s, then rejoined the group in 2005 and continued performing with them until his death. He co-wrote many of the band’s songs, including their signature 1979 tune “Flirtin’ with Disaster,” which peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song helped propel the group’s second album, also titled Flirtin’ with Disaster, to #9 on the Billboard 200. The record went to sell more than 2 million copies in the U.S.

Hlubek’s death comes about five months after the passing of ex-Molly Hatchet bass player Banner Thomas, who died of a heart attack at age 60 in April. Thomas played on the group’s first four albums.

Molly Hatchet currently has concerts lined up into late December 2017, and also is scheduled to perform on the Southern Rock Cruise in January and the Rock Legends Cruise in February. No word yet if Hlubek’s passing will affect their tour plans.

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