Jan 18, 2016, Heartache Tonight: Eagles’ Glenn Frey Dies

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Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey, November 6, 1948 – January 18, 2016

The following obituary appears just as it did on January 18, 2016, with just some minor edits for clarity.

The classic rock world has just lost another legend as Eagles‘ Glenn Frey has died at 67.

At approximately 5:10 pm ET on their Facebook page, the Eagles wrote:

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.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

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.
Cindy Frey | Taylor Frey | Deacon Frey | Otis Frey
Don Henley | Joe Walsh | Timothy B. Schmit | Bernie Leadon | Irving Azoff

The tribute was followed by the lyrics to a song that Frey had co-written with Jack Tempchin: “It’s Your World Now” from the band’s Long Road Out Of Eden album.

The Eagles’ guitarist and singer’s death comes just eight days after music fans are coping with the passing of another music legend, David Bowie.

Longtime Eagles manager Irving Azoff told The Wrap that he blamed Frey’s death on the medications he was taking. “The colitis and pneumonia were side effects from all the meds,” he told TheWrap. “He died from complications of ulcer and colitis after being treated with drugs for his rheumatoid arthritis which he had for over 15 years.”

Eagles’ Leadon, Randy Meisner, Henley and Frey, Sept. 1973 (Photo © Henry Diltz; used with permission)

Eagles are one of the best selling music acts of all time with a reported 150 million records sold worldwide. Frey sang lead on the band’s 1972 breakthrough hit, “Take It Easy.” Other Eagles songs of note for which he sang lead: “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Already Gone,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “Heartache Tonight.” Eagles co-founder and drummer Don Henley was the other primary lead vocalist, singing on such hits as “Hotel California,” “Desperado” and “One of These Nights.” The group’s Hotel California, released in 1976, has sold over 32 million copies worldwide. Their first greatest hits collection has sold over 42 million copies.

Eagles disbanded in 1980 during the peak of their commercial success. It would be 14 years before they reunited for the Hell Freezes Over album and tour. Frey had famously joked about the break-up, saying: “For the record, we never broke up; we just took a 14-year vacation.”

During the band’s mid-to-late ’70s assault on Top 40, they enjoyed five #1 singles: 1974’s “Best of my Love,” 1975’s “One of These Nights,” 1976’s “New Kid in Town,” 1977’s “Hotel California” and 1979’s “Heartache Tonight.”

They earned four straight #1 studio albums with a wild twist. After their run from 1975-79 with One of These NightsHotel California and The Long Run, it would be another 28 years due to their breakup and long recording hiatus before they released another studio album. Their Long Road Out of Eden, released in 2007, returned Eagles to the top of the sales charts.

Alex Gibney, who produced the History of the Eagles documentary, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “They wanted to play rock ‘n’ roll but it was really their sense of harmony and how those voices blended together, not only Don and Glenn but also Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon [the original incarnation of the band]. It was those voices together that made this kind of beautiful sound at a moment when country rock was coming on strong, [it] really found a moment and an audience.”

The Eagles’ final concert with Frey was on July 29, 2015, at the Centurylink Center in Bossier City, LA.

A major Eagles tribute had been postponed last November due to founding member Frey’s health. The band had released a statement at the time saying that Frey “has had a recurrence of previous intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period.”

Related: A label exec reflects on Frey’s legacy

Eagles were to be honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on December 6, 2015, in a ceremony that also recognized singer-songwriter Carole King and filmmaker George Lucas, among others. The Eagles portion of the ceremony was put off until 2016. Frey and Don Henley led the group to the pinnacle of rock music success.

“We send our best wishes to Glenn for a swift and full recovery,” Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said at the time. “It felt only right to defer bestowing this extraordinary honor to the group when Glenn could also be in attendance.”

Frey had a long history with intestinal problems, which he blamed on his early partying days. “It’s from burgers and beer and blow and broads – all the bad stuff I’d been doing to myself,” Frey told the Detroit Free Press in 1988 after he was hospitalized with diverticulitis. (He famously became a fitness and clean living enthusiast as a result.)

Related: Musicians we lost in 2016

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