The music world suffered another major loss Monday with the death of Eagles co-founder and guitarist Glenn Frey at age 67.
Frey died in New York from “complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” according to a statement from his family and bandmates, who said Frey “fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks.”
“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community and millions of fans worldwide.”
A Detroit native, Frey was the lead vocalist on Eagles hits including “Take It Easy,” “Lyin Eyes,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “New Kid in Town.”
He also had a wildly successful solo career, producing hits such as “You Belong to the City,” “The Heat is On,” “Smuggler’s Blues” and “The One You Love.”
Frey met Don Henley in 1970 and they worked with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon as a backup band for Linda Ronstadt. The foursome later created the Eagles.
The band broke up in 1980 but reunited in 1994 with the release of the “Hell Freezes Over” album.
“He was like a brother to me,” Henley said of Frey. “We were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan.”
Celebrities took to Twitter to express their condolences.
“Joining the heavenly band … RIP Glenn Frey,” wrote Micky Dolenz of The Monkees.
Comedian and musician Steve Martin wrote: “Shocker. My friend from the early days, and important member of Eagles, has died. We loved you, Glenn Frey.”
“Shocked to report the death of Glenn Frey,” wrote KISS frontman Paul Stanley. “Eagle & brillian songwriter. We shared some memories at (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).”
Frey’s death came eight days after the death of another music icon, David Bowie.
Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy, called Frey “part of one of the most storied bands in pop history.” He noted that the band won six Grammy Awards, while the song “Desperado” and the album “Hotel California” have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
“The band’s ‘Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975’ remains one of the best- selling albums of all time, a testament to the enduring music that Glenn played a significant role in creating,” Portnow said. “Glenn’s untimely passing is a huge loss for the music community, and we offer our condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and fans.”
–City News Service
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