- Category : 1941-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (7,20)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Plane 1
American guitarist, singer and songwriter, known for co-founding Jefferson Airplane, a leading psychedelic rock band of the counterculture era, and its more commercial spin-off band Jefferson Starship.
Formed in 1965 when he and Marty Balin met, Kantner eventually became the leader of Jefferson Airplane and led the group through its highly successful late 1960s period. In 1970, while still active with Jefferson Airplane, Kantner and several Bay Area musicians recorded a one-off side project under the name "Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Starship."
Jefferson Airplane continued to record and perform until 1972. When the band officially broke up, Kantner revived the Jefferson Starship name and continued to record and perform with that band for the next five decades. Kantner had the longest continuous membership with the band; at times he was the only founding member still in the band from the original Jefferson Airplane lineup, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with other band members in 1996.
Kantner had three children; sons Gareth (a restauranteur) and Alexander (a musician who sometimes played with Jefferson Starship), and daughter China (a former MTV VJ and actress.) China is his child with Jefferson Starship singer Grace Slick, with whom he had a relationship from 1969 to 1975.
A political anarchist, Kantner once advocated the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD for mind expansion and spiritual growth, and was a prominent advocate of the legalization of marijuana.
Kantner died in San Francisco at the age of 74 on 28 January 2016 from multiple organ failure and septic shock after he suffered a heart attack days earlier.