Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is a folk rock supergroup made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, also known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) when joined by occasional fourth member Neil Young. They are noted for their intricate vocal harmonies, often tumultuous interpersonal relationships, political activism, and lasting influence on music and culture. All four members of CSNY have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, though Young's multiple inductions were for work not involving the group.
CSNY's music unerringly reflected the tastes and viewpoints of the counterculture as the calendar rolled over from the sixties to the seventies. By 1970, with protest against both the establishment and the Vietnam War gearing up, the group made no secret of their political leanings, Crosby in particular.
The release of "Ohio" following the Kent State shootings in 1970 marked the boldest musical statement made to that date regarding the Vietnam War, calling out Richard Nixon by name and voicing the counterculture's rage and despair at the events. Between "Ohio", their appearance in both the festival and movie of Woodstock, and the runaway success of their two albums, the group found themselves in the position of enjoying a level of adulation far greater than experienced with their previous bands, as evidenced by the 27 Platinum certifications they received across 7 albums.
The collective talents allowed the band to straddle all the flavors of popular music eminent at the time, from country-rock to confessional balladry, from acoustic guitars and voice to electric guitar and boogie. Indeed, with the Beatles break-up made public by April 1970, and with Bob Dylan in reclusive low-key activity since mid-1966, CSNY found itself as the adopted standard bearers for the Woodstock Nation, vouchsafing an importance in society as counterculture figureheads equaled at the time in rock and roll only by The Rolling Stones. CSNY was originally commissioned to create the soundtrack for Easy Rider, but Stills' offering, "Find the Cost of Freedom" was rejected.
An entire sub-industry of singer-songwriters in California either had their careers boosted or came to prominence in the wake of CSNY, among them Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and The Eagles. All were managed, incidentally, by Roberts, and all but Nyro signed to Geffen’s Asylum label, which would be the home for what came to be known as the Mellow Mafia for the remainder of the decade.
The band has continued to be associated with political causes throughout its existence.