Leslie-Hawkins
Leslie Hawkins | Biography

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  • Full Name Leslie Hawkins
  • Occupation Vocalist
  • Nationality American
  • Birth Date Not Disclosed
Backup Vocalist of Rock Band Lynyrd Skynyrd

Leslie Hawkins | Biography

Appeared on 'Freebird… The Movie' & 'If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd'

Hawkins was featured in the 2019 documentary 'I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours Of Lynyrd Skynyrd', alongside two other survivors, security guard Gene Odom and guitar tech Craig. She gave a firsthand account of the tragic crash, the 72 hours that led to the plane crash, the harrowing fall, and its aftermath.


Leslie Hawkins is an American singer most recognized as the backup vocalist with the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Who is Leslie Hawkins?

Leslie Hawkins was a lead backing singer with the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd for nearly a couple of years in the mid-1970s. 

She was severely injured in the airplane crash that killed three band members in 1977. She suffered a concussion and three cervical fractures. She also suffered facial injuries that required plastic surgery. In addition, Hawkins was partially paralyzed and suffered permanent neurological damage from the crash.

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Career

Hawkins had a brief singing career with Jacksonville, Florida-based rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. She worked with the band as the backing vocalist from December 1975 until the tragic death of three bandmates in October 1977.

As a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hawkins was later featured in several documentaries. In 1978, she appeared in a short documentary titled A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, written by Frank Gehrecke and directed by Alan J. Shalleck. 

She then appeared in the 1996 documentary titled Freebird… The Movie. In 2018, she was featured in If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd, a biographical musical documentary by Stephen Kijak. 

The following year, she appeared in the documentary, I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd, directed by Jonathan Braucher.

Leslie Hawkins Lynyrd Skynyrd
Leslie Hawkins at Sun-Ray Cinema after the release of the documentary If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2018. (Photo: Facebook)

Leslie Hawkins Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd (initially named My Backyard) is an American pop/rock band formed by vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarists Allen Collins and Gary Rossington in 1965 in Jacksonville, Florida. 

The band released their debut album titled Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd in 1973. It rose to prominence in the mid-1970s for their triple-guitar attack, which was showcased on Free Bird, a tribute to the late guitarist Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. 

The popularity helped Lynyrd Skynyrd release their second album Second Helping (1974). They became their breakthrough hit, which featured the hit singles ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ a response to Neil Young’s song ‘Southern Man.’ 

Then, in 1975, the band released its third album Nuthin’ Fancy, which became the band’s first Top Ten hit.

Hawkins joined the band in December 1975. After her joining, the band released their fourth album titled Gimme Back My Bullets in 1976. 

The band then released the double-live album One More from the Road in late 1976, and it became the band’s second Top Ten album. Lynyrd Skynyrd released their sixth album Street Survivors, on 17 October 1977.

Shortly after that, a fatal plane crash killed three band members, Van Zant, Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, their assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray on 20 October 1977. In addition, 20 more people, including Hawkins, got injured in the plane crash.

Hawkins was featured in the 2019 documentary I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours Of Lynyrd Skynyrd, alongside two other survivors, security guard Gene Odom and guitar tech Craig. She gave a firsthand account of the tragic crash, the 72 hours that led to the plane crash, the harrowing fall, and its aftermath.

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