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Eagles founder Glenn Frey dies aged 67

Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Frey was a driving force behind one of the most successful live acts of all time

By Jon Chapple on 19 Jan 2016

Glenn Frey, Eagles, Seattle Center Arena, Scott Butner

image © Scott Butner

Glenn Frey, a founder member of the Eagles, has died aged 67.

Frey, the band’s longtime lead guitarist and, together with drummer Don Henley, primary singer and songwriter, died in New York yesterday morning (18 January) of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

The Eagles, who came from the folk-orientated hippie scene in Laurel Canyon but later pioneered a more polished AOR sound often called ‘California rock’, cancelled their scheduled appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in December owing to Frey’s poor health, which he blamed on damage done to his body by rock ’n’ roll excess during the band’s 1970s heyday (Henley called it a time of “drugs, girls and fights”). The band were due to receive a Kennedy Center Honor but deferred their acceptance of the award until 2016.

Frey last performed with the Eagles on 29 July 2015 at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, the final date of the band’s 142-date History of the Eagles: Live in Concert world tour.

The Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden tour is the 16th highest grossing concert tour of all time, earning over $251.1 million worldwide

A statement on the Eagles’ official website, signed by his family and current and former members of the band, reads: “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 Eagles are one of the best-selling bands of all time, with over 150m records sold worldwide and five US №1 singles, six US №1 albums and six Grammy Awards.

Their 2008–2011 Long Road Out of Eden tour is the 16th highest grossing concert tour of all time, earning over US$251.1m worldwide. The Hell Freezes Over reunion tour, in 1994 and 1995, is the seventh highest grossing of the 1990s, with a gross of $142.7m.

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