Founding Eagles Guitarist Glenn Frey Dead At 67

R.I.P.

01/18/2016 05:12 pm ET | Updated Jan 19, 2016

Founding Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey died on Monday at the age of 67. 

News of his death was confirmed on the band's website with a statement from his family and former bandmates. 

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

Don Arnold via Getty Images
Glenn Frey performing live in Sydney, Australia on May 2, 2015. 

Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months. In November, his health problems forced the band to postpone their appearance scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Kennedy Center Honors until 2016. At the time, the band issued a statement, explaining that Frey "has had a recurrence of previous intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period."

RB via Getty Images
Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner. 

The musician had a long history of intestinal problems. According to the Washington Post, 10 years after The Eagles broke up, the first attempts to reunite the group in 1990 were paused partly because Frey needed to undergo surgery to remove part of his large intestine. His health problems continued to flare up again during the band's "Hell Freezes Over" reunion tour, causing the group to postpone tour dates while he recovered, though his intestinal issues continued to persist. 

Frey was a founding member of The Eagles, creating the band with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner in 1971. He sang lead vocals on many of the band's hits and co-wrote "Hotel California" with Henley and Don Felder. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Additionally, Frey had a successful solo career with five studio albums and memorable hits including "The Heat Is On" and "You Belong to the City." 

News of Frey's death was met with an outpouring of emotion from friends, fans and other musicians. The Eagles drummer and vocalist Don Henley referred to Frey as a "brother," and "the one who started it all" in a statement released on Monday

"He was like a brother to me; 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. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry -- and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. 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 is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year 'History of the Eagles Tour' to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. 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. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some."

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