Don Everly of the groundbreaking duo the Everly Brothers died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday at age 84. Everly’s attorney and family spokesperson Linda Edell Howard confirmed the musician’s passing.
The Everly Brothers were one of the most successful acts in popular music between 1957 and 1962, with hits such as “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the only artists to outsell them during this period were Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and possibly Rick Nelson.
The Everly Brothers were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 when the institution drafted its initial group of honorees. They were also recipients of a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement and were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Phil Everly, Don’s musical partner and younger brother, passed away in 2014 at age 74 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The sibling duo had parted ways in 1973 but reunited in 1983, going on tour and recording three more studio albums of new material afterward.
Many other notable artists paid tribute to the musician on social media. Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson said he was sad to hear the news.
“The Everly Brothers were a big influence on us and we learned a lot from their beautiful harmonies,” Wilson tweeted. “Love & mercy to Don’s family.”
Nancy Sinatra, singer, actress and daughter of the late Frank Sinatra, shared a photo of herself with the duo.
“We have now lost Don Everly. Touring with Phillip and Donald was literally thrilling,” she tweeted. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/Vr8c9ikWAY
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) August 22, 2021
Andrew Lloyd Webber shared a farewell message.
“A curtain has finally come down on the greatest duo in rock history,” the composer tweeted. “The Everly Brothers were the daddies of the vocal harmonies of rock today.”
Farewell Don. A curtain has finally come down on the greatest duo in rock history. The Everly Brothers were the daddies of the vocal harmonies of rock today. – ALW
— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) August 22, 2021
Musician Peter Frampton stated how sad he was to hear of the loss.
“Both Phil and Don created songs and harmonies that changed music forever,” tweeted Frampton. “You will be together again now.”
I am so sad to hear about the loss of Don Everly. Both Phil and Don created songs and harmonies that changed music forever. You will be together again now. RIP Don and Phil ❤️
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) August 22, 2021
Ringo Star shared a photo of the Beatles and Everly Brothers posing together.
“God bless Don and Phil the Everly brothers,” he tweeted, “we loved them.”
God bless Don and Phil the Everly brothers we loved them peace and love. 😎✌️🌟❤️🌈🎶☮️ pic.twitter.com/yHLlPFciNg
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 23, 2021
“Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams,” a statement from the family said, “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.”
No cause of death has been given.