On Monday, January 18, 2016, rock and roll lost an icon. Glenn Frey, guitarist, singer, songwriter and one of the founders of the band, The Eagles, has passed away as a result of complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months and underwent surgery in November. He passed away at 67 in New York City.
Frey and the other original members of the Eagles, came together in the ‘70s to provide backup for Linda Ronstadt, whose career was just beginning to take off. The laid back, country- folk sound became the band’s trademark for many years. They led the renaissance of the mellow California sound along with Ronstadt and Jackson Browne.
Frey and Don Henley co-wrote many of the band’s greatest hits, including “Best of My Love,” “One of Those Nights,” “Take It Easy,” and “Tequila Sunrise.” The Eagles big breakthrough was “Hotel California” in 1976. Sadly, the band succumbed to interpersonal squabbles, and Frey went on to solo success, with “The Heat is On,” “You Belong to the City,” and “True Love.” Frey also tried his hand at acting, appearing as a guest star in “Miami Vice” and the movie “Jerry Maguire.” Frey was also a painter.
As a member of the Eagles, Frey won six Grammys and five American Music Awards. With the Eagles and as a soloist, he had a record 24 Top Forty hits on Billboard’s Top 100.
The Eagles reunited in 1994 for the tour, “Hell Freezes Over” which led to an MTV special and a live album. In 1998, The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.
Glenn Lewis Frey was born in Detroit, Michigan. He played a large part in the local Detroit music scene, before landing his first professional gig at 19, playing acoustic guitar and background vocals for Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.” In 1968 Frey moved to L.A., where he hooked up with J. D. Souther and Jackson Browne. Frey met drummer Don Henley in 1970, when the newly forming Eagles helped out on Linda Ronstadt’s album and subsequent tour in 1971.
In the late 1990’s, Frey formed his own record label, Mission Records, and recorded a solo album of covers of pop standards from the 1940’s and 1950’s. The album was called “After Hours” and was released in May 2012.
Frey was married twice, most recently to Cindy Millican in 1990. They have three children, two sons and a daughter. Millican was quoted as saying that Frey always put his family before his career.
After news of Frey’s passing spread, numerous pop luminaries turned out to pay tribute to a gifted man and friend. Don Henley said Frey was like a brother to him, despite the ups and downs they had over the course of 45 years. Carole King, Travis Tritt, Sheryl Crow, Rita Wilson, and Huey Lewis were amongst the many taking to Twitter to pay their respects.