Russ Bynum?and Kristin M. Hall

SAVANNAH, Ga.: Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, his manager said. He was 69.

Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, his manager, Michael Lehman, told the Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman’s death.

“It’s a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago,” Lehman said in an interview. “He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn’t.”

Allman played his last concert in October because of health problems.

Funeral arrangements had not been finalized Saturday. But Lehman said Allman would be buried alongside his late brother, founding Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Ga., where the band got its start nearly five decades ago.

“He’ll be laid next to his brother, Duane,” Lehman said. “That’s in his wishes.”

Southern rock and country musician Charlie Daniels said via Twitter, “Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever.”

Born in Nashville, Tenn., the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida by a single mother. Allman idolized his older brother, Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him. Together they formed the nucleus of the Allman Brothers Band.

The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues-inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as Whipping Post, Ramblin’ Man and Midnight Rider helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

In his 2012 memoir, My Cross to Bear, Allman described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ.

They failed to crack success until they formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Based in Macon, the group featured Betts, drummers Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They partied to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album At Fillmore East in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom.

Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, just months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley’s life.

In a 2012 interview with the Associated Press, Gregg Allman said Duane remained on his mind every day.

The 1970s brought more turmoil, including his brief marriage to the actress and singer Cher.

They had one child together, Elijah Blue. Cher said via Twitter on Saturday, “IVE TRIED.WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE.”