Phil Everly, who rose to musical fame with his brother Don in the duo the Everly Brothers, died Friday in Burbank, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 74.
Everly’s wife Patti said that he died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a result of smoking cigarettes.
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“We are absolutely heartbroken,” Patti (pictured above, with Phil) told the paper. “He fought long and hard.”
Born in Chicago to a musician father, Everly formed the Everly Brothers with Don after the pair had performed as children as part of the Everly Family. Together the pair, known for their harmonies and country-inflected tunes, racked up numerous hits, including “Wake Up Little Suzie,” “Cathy’s Clown,” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” The pair was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
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After initially breaking up in the early ’70s, the Everly Brothers reunited in 1983 for a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, later recording the 1986 country-music hit “Born Yesterday.” The pair also contributed the song “Cold” to the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Jim Steinman album “Whistle Down the Road.”
The pair the Lifetime Achievement Grammy award in 1997.
Everly is survived by his wife, brother Don, mother Margaret, and sons Jason and Chris, as well as two granddaughters.