US musician Phil Everly dies aged 74

Popular musical duo Phil and Don Everly recording at the Warner Brothers studio in Hollywood, 1963. Phil (left) and Don Everly were a popular rock and country duo in the 1950s and 1960s

US musician Phil Everly, one half of the Everly Brothers, has died, aged 74, in California, his family says.

Everly died in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank of complications from lung disease, his wife, Patti, told the Los Angeles Times.

"We are absolutely heartbroken," she said, adding that the disease was the result of a lifetime of smoking.

Phil Everly and his brother Don made up the Everly Brothers, one of the biggest pop acts of the 1950s and early 1960s.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Don said: "I loved my brother very much. I always thought I'd be the one to go first.

"The world might be mourning an Everly Brother, but I'm mourning my brother Phil Everly.''

The pair had a string of close-harmony hits including Wake Up Little Suzie, Cathy's Clown, Bye Bye Love, and All I Have To Do Is Dream.

"It's a terrible, terrible loss - for me, for everybody," US rock pioneer Duane Eddy, a friend of Everly, told BBC Radio 5live.

Infamous
In this file photo dated September 7, 2011 shows US singer Phil Everly attending the Buddy Holly Hollywood Walk Of Fame Induction Ceremony in Hollywood, California Phil Everly and his brother won a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys

Everly died on Friday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his son Jason Everly told AP.

Rolling Stone magazine calls the Everly Brothers "the most important vocal duo in rock".

In its biography of the pair, the magazine says Phil and his older brother Don were the children of Midwestern country music singers Ike and Margaret Everly and performed on the family radio show while growing up.

In their heyday between 1957 and 1962, the Everly Brothers had 19 Top 40 hits, according to the Associated Press. They influenced acts such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

The pair had an onstage breakup in 1973 that led to a decade-long estrangement, but Phil later told Time magazine the brothers' relationship had survived this.

"Don and I are infamous for our split," Phil said, "but we're closer than most brothers."

The Everly Brothers were elected to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in its first year, 1986, and they were given a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 1997.

Among the musicians paying tribute to the singer and guitarist, was singer-songwriter Charlie Daniels, who tweeted: "Rest in peace Phil Everly. You guys brought us a lot of pleasure back in the day."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

From BBC Culture

Programmes

  • Models of roads and cars on a bridgeThe Travel Show Watch

    A world in miniature - behind the scenes at one of the world’s largest model railways

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.