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|Also known as||Cassie Gaines|
January 9, 1948|
Seneca, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||October 20, 1977
Gillsburg, Mississippi, U.S.
|Associated acts||Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Honkettes|
Gaines was invited by JoJo Billingsley and Ronnie Van Zant to join Lynyrd Skynyrd as a backup singer. She had never heard of Skynyrd at the time, so JoJo lent to her a copy of the band's first two albums: (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) and Second Helping. In late 1975, Cassie, JoJo, and Leslie Hawkins became The Honkettes, a female gospel vocal trio for Skynyrd.
On October 20, 1977, a Convair CV-240 carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina, to Baton Rouge, crashed outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi. The crash killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve and Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, as well as pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.
On February 15, 1979, the mother of Steve and Cassie, also named Cassie LaRue Gaines, was killed in an automobile accident near the cemetery where Steve and Cassie are buried. She was buried near her children.