Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey has died at 67 due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia according to the band. As a member of the Eagles, the singer/guitarist Frey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and won six Grammys. The musician had suffered with intestinal issues in recent years.
“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,” the band said in a statement.
Along with drummer and co-lead vocalist Don Henley, Frey wrote many of the rock group’s biggest songs including Hotel California (with Don Felder), Best of My Love (with J.D. Souther), Lyin’ Eyes, and One of These Nights.
“He was like a brother to me,” said Henley in a statement (via Billboard). “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.”
Initially formed in 1971 as Linda Ronstadt’s backing band, the group eventually became a standalone rock band called the Eagles. With the group’s self-titled release featuring Take It Easy, Witchy Woman, and Peaceful Easy Feeling, the Eagles quickly became a California soft rock mainstay. The Los Angeles-based group hit its peak with the chart-topping LP One of These Nights in 1975.
The group, which went on hiatus from 1980 to 1994, has gone on to become one of the best selling bands in rock music. The 1976 compilation Their Greatest Hits 1971 — 1975 has sold 29 million copies in the U.S., second to Michael Jackson’s Thriller according to CNN.
“I don’t get to bask in the afterglow much,” said Frey to Rolling Stone in 2012. “I told the guys in my band, ‘The reason I like coming out there is because people do what I say, and this is the only place where that happens.’ It’s very gratifying to think that we’ve found this place and that we are where we are.”