Rock ‘n roll legend Don Everly passed away on Saturday, his family told reporters from The Los Angeles Times. Everly was the last surviving member of The Everly Brothers, and he was 84 years old. So far, his cause of death has not been publicly revealed.
Everly died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, Aug. 21. His family issued a statement saying: “Don lived by what he felt in his heart. Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams… with his soulmate and wife, Adela, and sharing the music that made him an Everly Brother.” Don and his younger brother Phil broke out as a rock duo in the 1950s, and remained legends in the genre throughout their lives.
Born in 1937, Don Everly began performing music from a young age. He and Phil performed on the radio with their parents, Ike and Margaret Everly as “The Everly Family” in the 1940s. The brothers then used that notoriety to launch their rock ‘n roll careers in the following decade.
Some of the Everly Brothers’ most notable hits included “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Problems.” They were among the first group of artists to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame when it was established in 1986, putting them in such company as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The Everly Brothers were best known for their vocal harmonies, which set them apart in the raucous genre and made early rock ‘n roll accessible to some more traditional listeners. Their work had a country music influence, and helped bring the burgeoning sound to new audiences. Later stars like The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel cited The Everly Brothers as major influences on them.
The Everly Brothers found some success apart from each other in the 1970s and 1980s as well. Don led the band Dead Cowboys in addition to releasing music under his own name. Phil worked closely with Warren Zevon, among other artists, and did some groundbreaking work in the studio. The brothers reunited in 1983 and saw a bit of a resurgence through the beginning of the 21st century.
Phil Everly was born in 1939 and passed away on Jan. 3, 2014 at a California hospital. He reportedly succumbed to lung disease shortly before his 75th birthday. Fans are mourning the brothers and reflecting upon their legacy on social media in the wake of Don’s death.