NEW YORK – Glenn Frey, a founding member of the rock band the Eagles, has died at 67, a publicist for the band has confirmed.
“Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” reads a post on the band’s official website.
Frey had been suffering from intestinal issues, which caused the postponement of the band’s inclusion in the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.
Frey and the other original members of the Eagles — Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon — came together to form singer Linda Ronstadt’s backup band in the early 1970s.
Thank you Glenn for making this world a better place. Your gift gave us hope, soul and a reason to live Thank you You and David left to soon
— Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos) January 18, 2016
They were all experienced musicians who brought their expertise to the country-tinged rock sound that the Eagles would eventually make famous.
Going on to form their own band, the Eagles found wild success. Throughout the 1970s the band released hit after hit, including “One of These Nights,” “Best of My Love” and “Life in the Fast Lane,”
Frey played guitar and keyboard and took lead vocal duties for the band on tunes like “Take it Easy” and “Tequila Sunrise.”
With “Hotel California” in 1976, the band reached the pinnacle of its success, selling 16 million copies. They released four number one albums consecutively between 1975 and 1979: “One of These Nights,” “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975,” “Hotel California” and “The Long Run.”
The “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975,” was the first album certified platinum and has sold 29 million copies in the United States, second only to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” according to Rolling Stone.
The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Though the public reception was warm, the band had a famously contentious relationship with critics.
See you on the other side , I am going to miss you until then Brother Glenn , I'll remember all the laughs … https://t.co/laHYkzH47t
— Don Johnson (@DonJohnson) January 19, 2016
“Another thing that interests me about the Eagles is that I hate them,” wrote rock critic Robert Christgau in 1972, when they first hit it big.
The band succumbed to internal squabbles and broke up in 1980. Frey, Henley and other band members were famously contentious.
“He was like a brother to me,” fellow Eagle Don Henley said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Frey and Henley co-wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including “Best of My Love.” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “One of These Nights” and “Hotel California.” Frey also famously helped Jackson Browne finish writing the Eagles’ first hit, “Take It Easy,” contributing the catchy verse, “it’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford / slowing down to take a look at me.”
Frey saw solo success with the 1982 release “No Fun Aloud.” He hit the top 40 with “The Heat Is On,” “You Belong to the City,” “True Love,” and “Soul Searchin.'”
He also tried his hand at acting with a guest spot on “Miami Vice” and a role in the film “Jerry Maguire.”
The band reunited for 1994’s Hell Freezes Over tour, which spawned an MTV special and a live album. They would continue to tour together over the 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 & millions of fans worldwide,” the band said on its website Monday