Glenn Frey, Eagles Guitarist, Dies at 67

Glenn Frey Dead
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Glenn Frey, singer, songwriter, guitarist and a founding member of the Eagles, died 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 on Monday, January 18th, 2016,” the band said in a statement. “Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia. 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 & millions of fans worldwide.”

Frey wrote and provided vocals for many of the Eagles’ biggest hits hits, including “Heartache Tonight,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “Take It Easy.”

The musician, with Don Henley, also co-wrote “Hotel California” and “Desperado.” The Eagles won six Grammys and five American Music Awards during its run, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Though the Eagles were scheduled to be feted at last December’s Kennedy Center Honors, the band postponed on account of Frey’s health.

Henley praised Frey in a statement, writing: “He was like a brother to me; 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. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.”

A Detroit native, the teenage Frey played in a plethora of rock bands throughout the 1960s, though his fortunes hit a steady upward trajectory when he moved to Los Angeles, becoming an integral part of the Laurel Canyon folk-rock scene alongside neighbors Jackson Browne and J.D. Souther.

After meeting drummer Henley in 1970, Frey formed country-rock outfit the Eagles, which quickly become giants of the ‘70s rock world and one of the best-selling artists of all time. Co-writing with Browne, Frey’s “Take It Easy” hit No. 12 on the singles chart, followed by the successes of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Witchy Woman,” all from the band’s self-titled 1972 debut. Subsequent years saw the group notch radio hits with “Tequila Sunrise” and “Already Gone,” both of which featured Frey on lead vocals.

Moving away from country-rock toward a more mainstream sound, the Eagles went on a remarkable run through the latter half of the decade, notching five No. 1 singles (“Best of My Love,” “New Kid in Town,” “One of Those Nights,” “Heartache Tonight” and the all-conquering “Hotel California”) and three No. 1 studio albums from 1974 through ’79. The group’s 1976 collection, “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),” stood for many years as the best-selling album of all time; according to the RIAA, its 29x Platinum certification is now second only to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Despite some lineup changes — with Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner giving way to Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit, respectively, while guitarist Joe Walsh provided some x-factor energy starting in 1975 — Frey and Henley lead the band and served as primary songwriters throughout their run.

After an acrimonious breakup in 1980, Frey and Walsh both launched successful solo careers. Frey’s solo debut, 1982’s “No Fun Aloud,” contained such Top 40 hits as “The One You Love” and “I Found Somebody, ” while subsequent years would see him claim a pair of No. 2 hits in “The Heat Is On” and “You Belong to the City.” He pursued an acting career as well, landing a role in the first season of “Miami Vice.”

Despite Henley’s famous claim that the Eagles would reunite “when hell freezes over,” the group reconciled in 1994 for the first of many hugely lucrative tours, releasing the appropriately titled live album “Hell Freezes Over,” which has since been certified 9x Platinum. 2007 saw the group release their first new studio album since the ’70s, “Long Road Out of Eden,” which debuted at the top of the album chart.

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  1. pat annen says:

    My sympathies to the Frey family, so sorry for your loss! Rest in Peace Glenn!!!

  2. Lupe says:

    I can’t describe the sadness that filled my heart when I heard the news. Eagles fan, G.F. RIP.

  3. Michele says:

    Such a tragic loss! God bless you & your family. My nephew died in the same manner Saturday at age 41. R.I.P.

  4. Sue says:

    I am just so sad. This man with or without the Eagles is in every fiber of my being.

    • Lillian Webb says:

      We send heartfelt condolences to Glenn’s family and friends. He was a great musician. He will be greatly missed.

  5. Jimmy Fitzpatrick says:

    Loved Glenn Frey. He was a musical genius and awesome human being. We became friends and Golfing buds after I Guest Starred on “South Of Sunset.” RIP brother. I will miss you.

  6. Jim Fitzpatrick says:

    Loved Glenn. We became good friends and Golfing buddies after I Guest Starred on “South Of Sunset.” Glenn was an awesome human being. RIP brother.

  7. Diane Gruber says:

    Sad to think we will never hear any more new music from Glenn. He was a musical genius and a talent beyond comparison. He will be missed.

  8. Colleen raines says:

    It’s only January and we have seen the demise now of glen Frey, truly the best! Bowie last week, what’s happening. God bless x

  9. Michaelmas says:

    To be accurate you may want to amend this. Henley, Frey AND Walsh launched successful solo careers with the dissolution of the Eagles. Henley’s was the most successful of te three.

  10. stanley kodish says:

    This is very sad- he set a standard to the times of my high school years to making love to a sweetheart and millions of others, my heart hangs heavy for all those others that feel the same and mostly for his loved ones. We only pass this way once and he in his very short time left us something to enjoy and we really all should get along and take it to the limit of our abilities, and use our BRAINS to work things out in a peaceful way. Thanks Glenn

  11. Chuck says:

    One of music’s greatest voices and songwriting talents is silenced. Along with your Eagles brethren, thank you for sharing your wonderful talent and beautiful music for the world to enjoy. RIP Glenn Frey.

  12. terra says:

    Such a loss restin peace !!! May you always soar high on a eagles wing. God bless you and your family

  13. Paul says:

    Such a loss of a great musician.Love the Eagles.Don Felder developed the song “Hotel California” and took it to Glen and Don Henley where it grew from there.

  14. Terri M. says:

    Rest in Peace, Glenn Frey, your music will live on forever. By far, one of the BEST 70’s rock groups. I wonder how many they ‘saved’ from the ‘disco’ sound besides me? My condolences to Glenn’s family, the band and all their fans. God Speed Glenn!

  15. May God be with Glenns soul like Glenns voice has been in our ears and hearts. The Eagles and all of Glenn’s fans have holes in our lives. May God bless his family and the Eagles. Fans also. We already miss him.

  16. Tia says:

    This was the music of a generation; my generation. I am forever grateful! So very sad but oh so happy that he and his band mates shared their girfts with us!

  17. There are so many different songs, that helped me get thru the “teenage blues” back in the 70’s and 80’s. When we go out to the bar to play pool and drink beer, I still find several songs to sing to. My very deep condolences to his family and to the The Eagles.

  18. Freeman says:

    “Desperado” remains my all time favorite and I remember during the last tour, almost coming to tears as the band played their early stuff. Thanks for the decades of great stuff!!!!! I’ll never forget the first time I heard “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. Back at you, Glenn! Rest easy.

  19. James says:

    Very hard to find out that the band ever in history has lost the man with a plan and one of the best singer song writers

  20. Dee says:

    You may have checked out Glenn but you will never leave. Your music has given you immortality. Live on brother and give the best of our love to Bowie and Natalie Cole.

  21. Caroline Reuterdahl says:

    I was very sad to hear this awful news about one of the greatest singers in the world. May you rest in peace Glenn. Your voice and music will live on forever.

  22. barbie harris says:

    I can always be brought back to my younger years though the beautiful music made by Glenn Frey and the eagles. I thank you for that Mr.Glenn Frey. Now you can be pain free and fly like an eagle. Rip my friend. You will be missed

  23. Mike Andretta says:

    Sad day after the passing of Bowie and other wonderful stars of our generation. You leave behind a great legacy of awesome music to which we will listen to forever. RIP

  24. Janet Taylor says:

    I am numb…I adore The Eagles. Glenn IS The Eagles. Through ups and downs for the band, the driving forces were Glenn and Don. Nobody can touch that. Some have added to that, but that team of Glenn and Don were the magical glue that created masterpieces. My condolences to Glenn’s family and to The Eagles. I truly mourn his passing.

  25. Dave J. says:

    I have a strange bad feeling that the rest of the year isn’t going to get any better with all of those depressing announcements, just after the new year! May Glenn Fry rest in peace!

  26. To be accurate, Frey’s solo career included the Top 40 hits mentioned. His debut solo album contained just two Top 40 hits, however, “The One You Love” and “I Found Somebody”. Also, “Soul Searching” was an A/C hit but not a Top 40 hit. Maybe just write, “Frey’s solo career stretched from 1982’s “No Fun Allowed” to 2012’s “After Hours” featured a string of hits on Top 40 and the Adult Contemporary charts including “The One You Love,” “The Heat Is On,” “Smuggler’s Blues,” “Soul Searchin'” and more.

  27. Patty says:

    “There’s a hole in the world tonight”…RIP Glenn Frey. One of rocks great singer/songwriters.

  28. Carole Upshaw says:

    The Eagles are such a part of my life. I grew up with them. I’m so sad.

    • Debra Therrien, I also grew up with the eagles,I bought all their albums. I still listen to their CD’s to this day ! I also kept up with Glenn Frey’s solo career, Great singer and songwriter! RIP Mr. Frey, You’ll be greatly missed! Thank-you for your music,I Love It!!

  29. One of rock’s finest. The Eagles are legendary. Frey will be greatly missed. RIP.

  30. Jill says:

    Thank You ❤️🎼🎸 RIP Mr Frey 👼

  31. Me says:

    I would like to know why Spike Lee’s story is first and this story is not!

  32. Tom Marcucci says:

    Hotel California was co – written by Don Felder….who was inexplicably omitted from your story.

  33. Tom Tallmadge says:

    We loved the Eagles.He will be sorely missed.

  34. patrick thurman says:

    May you rest in peace brother…..

  35. nonyabizz says:

    sonofabitch! this has gotta stop…

  36. I just watched the Eagles History documentary on Netflix the other night, and wrote about it on my Facebook page, saying it brought me back to the golden days of the 70s when we were all young, long-haired, and beautiful. Glenn’s passing comes as a shock and feels personal. His work is indelibly marked in the fabric of my life, and that of an entire generation. Condolences to his family. Thank you Glenn Frey for all the memories…

  37. Sweet dreams Glenn Frey, a major force in my music favorites. A member of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, he will not be replaced.

  38. Anita says:

    Was so lucky to see the History of Eagles tour in August, 2014 in Lake Tahoe at an outdoor concert. The show was beyond incredible. There was a beautiful sunset right before the band came on and Glenn even commented after taking the stage how gorgeous it was. Nice that he could appreciate and acknowledge that. When they sang “Train Leaves Here this Morning” with 7 vocal harmonies I felt like I had died and been greeted by a celestial choir. RIP Glenn. Hope you were greeted the same way.

  39. Linda Watson says:

    So sad to hear this news. I have been a massive eagles fan since they arrived on the music scene.

  40. Lisa says:

    Hotel California, one of my favourite songs. ”You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”
    May he rest in peace.

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