The guitarist and founder of US rock band the Eagles, Glenn Frey, has died aged 67,Sky News reports. The band’s website announced that the musician – who also played piano, keyboards and sang lead vocals on many Eagles tracks – had “fought a courageous battle”.
Among the songs he wrote the lyrics for was Hotel California – a US number one and ranked as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s top 50 songs of all time.
A statement from his family and band members Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit and Bernie Leadon and manager Irving Azoff, said: “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, 18 January, 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 and millions of fans worldwide.”
The statement was followed by the lyrics of the band’s song It’s Your World Now, which Frey wrote with Jack Tempchin and has the lyric “It’s your world now. My race is run. I’m moving on.”
The band are one of the best-selling of all time, having sold an estimated 150 million records.
The Eagles were founded after Frey and drummer Henley left Linda Ronstadt’s backing band to join guitarist Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. The group signed for label boss David Geffen’s Asylum Records.
They scored moderate success with their first three studio albums but it was One of These Nights, Hotel California and The Long Run which went multiple platinum in many countries around the world.
The Hotel California album alone is thought to have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Frey has writing credits on seven of the album’s nine tracks, including Life In The Fast Lane.
The title track Hotel California’s lyrics have been widely interpreted as an allegory about the dark side of the American dream and the dangers of hedonism in the rock and roll world.
After the Eagles split in 1980, Frey later embarked on a solo career, scoring a worldwide hit with The Heat Is On, which featured in Beverly Hills Cop. He also acted in a number of films and TV series, including Jerry Maguire and Miami Vice.