Glenn Frey dead: Guitarist and founding member of The Eagles dies at 67

The band are one of the world's best-selling bands of all time

He could write, he could play, and for a certain generation he was the voice behind some of the most memorable soft rock songs in history. Now Glenn Frey, a founder member and guitarist with The Eagles has died at the age of 67.

The band said that Frey, the voice of tracks such as Take It Easy, Tequila Sunrise and Lyin’ Eyes, had died in New York city after becoming ill after complications of acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

His death was confirmed in a message on the Facebook page of The Eagles.

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Don Henley (l) and Frey in 2014, co-wrote many of the bands best-known songs

“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,” it said.

“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.”

The message – signed by Cindy Frey, Taylor Frey, Deacon Frey, Otis Frey, and band members Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy Schmit, Bernie Leadon and Irving Azoff - said Frey succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York...

Frey, who played both guitar and keyboards as well as singing, formed The Eagles with Henley, a drummer, in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. Also in the band were guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. 

They would become a top act over the next decade, embodying the melodic California sound, said the Associated Press, and both the band’s  greatest hits collection from the mid-1970s and Hotel California are among the best-selling albums in history.

Frey was born in Detroit and was raised in its suburbs. After the Eagles’ 1980 breakup, he launched a successful solo career, recording numerous hits, among them The Heat Is On and You Belong to the City.

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The band's 1976 release 'Hotel California' is one of the best-selling albums of all time

The band reunited in 1994 and were one of the world's most popular concert acts. The band, which for years was made up of Frey, Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B Schmit, was supposed to have been honoured at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC last month. But the appearance was postponed because of Frey’s health problems.

Frey met up with Henley, Meisner and Leadon while all were trying to catch on in the Los Angeles music scene, and for a time the four backed Linda Ronstadt.

They also befriended such other Los Angeles-based musicians as Jackson Browne and JD Souther, who would collaborate on New Kid in Town and other Eagles songs.

While they harmonised on record, the band often fought. Leadon and Meisner departed after run-ins with Frey, and guitarist Don Felder, who had joined the group in 1974, ended up in legal action with the Eagles. Frey and Henley also became estranged for years, their breach a key reason the band stayed apart in the 1980s.

Henley had vowed the Eagles would reunite only when “hell freezes over” which became the name of the 1994 album they at one time had never imagined making.  

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