The Eagles have been a staple of the American music scene for generations. On Monday, the world lost one of the band’s pioneers, Glenn Frey. He was 67 when he succumbed to a trifecta of diseases including colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia.
Frey and his fellow band members’ first performance occurred at Disney Land, where they sang and played backup for Linda Ronstadt in 1970. Frey and Don Henley, along with Randy Mesiner and Bernie Leadon, decided to form the Eagles after later touring with Ronstadt. They went on to create one of the most influential bands of the 20th Century.
Frey was largely the glue that held the Eagles together and spurred their initial and continuous success. On their first album, Eagles, Frey has four song-writing credits and sings lead on their first hit single, Take It To the Limit. From there, the band released Desperado, Lyin’ Eyes and New Kid in Town.
Frey sang lead vocals on the latter two, which reached No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. These songs, among many others with Frey at the lead, further cemented the Eagles as American music icons. Throughout their career, they won six Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Although the Eagles have gone on to be one of the biggest-selling bands of all time with 150 million albums sold, Frey also had a successful solo career. After the Eagles temporarily parted ways at the beginning of the 1980s, Frey went on to release six solo albums. His first album, No Fun Allowed, went on to chart two top-40 singles. He amassed more hit singles in the following years, proving his longevity and solo talent.
Musicians ranging from Paul Standley of Kiss to Bette Midler have openly stated their condolences and noted Frey’s talent. J.D. Souther, who wrote with Frey frequently, summed up his legacy:
I will miss him every day but then … he is always here, isn’t he? I can’t say any more than that for now. The music and the love are indestructible.
Rest Quietly Dear Little Brother
You are greatly loved and missed