By Melonyce McAfee
Glenn Frey, a founding member of the rock supergroup 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, Bernie Meisner and Bernie Leadon — came together to form singer Linda Ronstadt’s backup band in the early 1970s.
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.
The Eagles’ 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.
Though the public reception was warm, the band had a famously contentious relationship with critics.
“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 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”
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.
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By Melonyce McAfee