The band’s website posted the news late Monday. “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,” the site stated.
Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months and had surgery in November, but in the last few days his condition took a turn for the worse.
“Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” the band’s website stated.
Frey’s medical issues also caused the band’s postponement of the Eagles’ inclusion in the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.
Frey co-wrote and sang on most of the Eagles hits, including “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Heartache Tonight,” to name a few. He took home six Grammys with the band.
The Eagles were initially formed in 1971 as a back-up band for Linda Ronstadt. The group, including Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, are best known for their California country sound, a blend of rock, pop, folk and country music.
The Eagles were one of the most successful groups of the ’70s; in addition to six Grammy Awards, the band also earned five American Music Awards and had six No. 1 albums. Two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California, are ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and Hotel California was ranked 37th in Rolling Stone ’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”