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Lynyrd Skynyrd was formed in 1970 when lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines met while beating up hippies in Jacksonville, Florida. The band grew to popularity after the release of their first album, pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd. That album contained the ever popular song Free Bird, and anthem about eagles. In 1974 Skynyrd released their aptly titled second album, Second Helping. The first track on the album was Sweet Home Alabama, a song about how as Americans it is our duty to hate Canada. In the song Skynyrd attacks Neil Young, an American hating Canadian who falsely characterized the South as racist, cross-burning slave owners. This of course isn't true. After the releases of several more successful albums, Skynyrd went on to play at "George Wallace '76" fundraisers and events. Tragedy struck the band in 1977 when the band's plane crashed in McComb, Mississippi. The band was traveling from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rogue, Louisiana when suddenly the plane was hit by a Canadian V-2 scud missile. Officials could not confirm it, but it is believed that Neil Young was responsible for the launch of the missile that brought down Skynyrd's plane.