The music world paid tribute on Saturday to Phil Everly, of the famed 1950s and 1960s pop duo The Everly Brothers, who has died at the age of 74.
Everly, a longtime smoker, died on Friday at a hospital in Burbank, California, due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his widow Patti Everly told the Los Angeles Times.
Phil Everly and his older brother Don, who survives him, rose to fame in the 1950s with hits such as Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do Is Dream and Bye Bye Love.
The duo, who are credited with influencing rock and country singers for decades, were among the first performers to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and in 2001 were also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Nancy Sinatra, the singer and daughter of Frank Sinatra, paid a special tribute on Twitter.
“Phil Everly is gone. Touring with Phil and Don was one of the thrills of my life. I love you Phillip – Godspeed,” she wrote.
Brian May, the Queen guitarist, wrote on his official website: “I never met them. Wish I had. But they will always be my heroes.” And, “RIP Phil Everly ... you were magic. I have tears in my eyes.”
The Everly Brothers signed their first record deal in 1957 and soon after, produced hits that spanned the genres of pop, rock and country.
They were known for close-harmony singing and praised by Rolling Stone magazine as “the most important vocal duo in rock” and “a major influence on the music of the 1960s”.
But as they got older, they struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and increasingly clashed offstage.
In 1973, they broke up in the middle of a performance in southern California and did not perform again together until 1983, when they played at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The brothers produced two albums in the 1980s and played some shows in the 1990s, but were largely estranged.
“Rest in peace Phil Everly. You guys brought us a lot of pleasure back in the day,” tweeted the rock and country singer Charlie Daniels.
In addition to his wife and brother, Phil Everly is survived by his mother Margaret, his sons Jason and Chris, and two granddaughters.
The Times said funeral services would be private.