Eagles co-leader Glenn Frey dies at 67
NEW YORK[ ]
GUITARIST Glenn Frey, who helped make the Eagles one of the most successful acts in United States rock history with hits such as Hotel California, died on Monday. He was 67.
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder Glenn Frey, in New York City," the Grammy Award-winning band wrote on its website.
Frey died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, the Eagles said.
Fellow Eagle Don Henley said of Frey: "He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn't quit."
Detroit-born Frey - the son of a machinist - and drummer-vocalist Henley co-founded the band in 1971 in Los Angeles after playing backup for rock singer Linda Ronstadt. The Eagles, fronted by the duo, dominated the American rock charts throughout the 1970s with hits including One Of These Nights and Hotel California.
The band pioneered the West Coast sound of laid-back, country-tinged rock that dominated early 1970s American pop and saw a changing cast of core members throughout the decades.
Frey collaborated with Henley to co-write many of the band's biggest hits. While Henley most often sang lead vocals, Frey played guitar and piano and was key to the band's harmony as a backup vocalist.
At times, Frey sang lead.
Frey died a little more than a week after another rock great, David Bowie, died at age 69.
Following a 1980 political benefit concert that exposed disagreements within the band, the Eagles split. Frey and Henley pursued successful solo projects in the 1980s but reunited as the Eagles in 1994. The band last performed together in July last year in Louisiana.
Frey, in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times in 2012, credited his band members' physical health as one reason for their success. "We managed to get off the party train pretty early," he told the paper.
But last year, his health took a bad turn as he suffered from intestinal problems. The Eagles had been due last month to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Lifetime Artistic Achievement award but the band said they would postpone their appearance by a year due to Frey's health.
He is survived by his wife, Cindy, and their three children.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS