Eagles Guitarist Glenn Frey Dead at 67

The classic rock legend had been battling a host of health problems.

Glenn Frey, co-founder, guitarist and vocalist for mega-selling rock band the Eagles, died Monday after a months-long battle with rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and pneumonia. He was 67.

“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery,” the band said in a statement on the Eagles website. 

“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.” 

Frey played guitar and sang lead vocals on many hits, including ‘Take It Easy‘, ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling‘, ‘Tequila Sunrise‘, “Already Gone‘, ‘Lyin’ Eyes‘, and ‘Heartache Tonight‘. He co-wrote the band’s signature song, ‘Hotel California’, with fellow vocalist Don Henley, and also played piano and keyboards in the band.

Frey, who passed away in New York City, “was the one that started it all” Henley said in a statement on Monday night. 

“He was the spark plug, the man with the plan,” Henley said. “He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.”

“I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.”  

The Eagles were one of the most popular rock acts of the 1970s, embodying the so-called “Southern California” sound along with soft-rocking compatriots like Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt, who had previously hired the group as her back-up band. The Eagles, Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 sold more than 26 million records, and was named the top-selling album of the 20th century.  

After the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Frey became a successful solo artist with ’80s pop hits ‘Smugger’s Blues’, ‘The Heat Is On’ and ‘You Belong to the City.’ He also worked as an actor on TV’s Miami Vice and later, in Jerry Maguire

More recently, Frey appeared in the popular documentary, History of the Eagles, that is currently streaming on NetFlix. 

The band reunited in 1994, but Frey’s health problems had worsened in recent months. The band had to push back their acceptance of Kennedy Center Honor, planned for Dec. 6, until 2016 because of “intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period,” the Washington Post reported in November.

Monday’s announcement on the Eagles’ website included lyrics to ‘It’s Your World Now’, written by Frey and Jack Tempchin from the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album.

The Eagles released four straight No. 1 albums between 1975 and 1979: One of These Nights, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Hotel California and The Long Run. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Frey is survived by his wife Cindy Frey and their three children Taylor, Deacon and Otis.