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Don Everly, of rock 'n' roll trailblazers The Everly Brothers, dies aged 84

The Everly Brothers
(Image credit: C Brandon/Redferns)

The Everly Brothers guitarist and singer Don Everly – who formed the band with his brother Phil – has died at the age of 84. His cause of death is yet to be revealed.

Confirming the news in a statement, his family write: “Don lived by what he felt in his heart. Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams... living in love with his soul mate and wife Adela, and sharing the music that made him an Everly Brother. Don always expressed how grateful he was for his fans.”

Born in Brownie, Kentucky in 1937, Don Everly went on to form The Everly Brothers with his brother Phil in 1956. Their trademark vocal harmonies and pop-friendly arrangements inspired a wave of later acts, including The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

Following a string of hits including Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy's Clown and a cover of Boudleaux Bryant's All I Have to Do Is Dream, the duo parted ways in 1973, before reforming a decade later in 1983. They subsequently became one of the first acts to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.

In total, the pair released 21 full-length studio albums throughout their tenure, securing the number one spot with an impressive 11 singles.

Don's brother Phil Everly passed away in 2014 at the age of 74 after a battle with lung disease.

Tributes have been pouring in from the music community following Don Everly's death, with guitarist Peter Frampton saying the duo's songs and harmonies “changed music forever”, and The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies calling them “part of my musical life growing up”.

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The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr adds: “God bless Don and Phil, the Everly brothers – we loved them. Peace and love.”

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Nancy Sinatra, eldest daughter of Frank Sinatra, writes: “We have now lost Don Everly. Touring with Phillip and Donald was literally thrilling. To have the privilege of singing with their breathtaking iconic voices was one of the great gifts of my career. Godspeed, Donald, I love you.”

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Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.