Don Everly of The Everly Brothers died Saturday evening (August 21) in a Nashville hospital. He was 84.
A family spokesperson did not cite the cause of death, however, he has been in bad health for some time.
“Don lived by what he felt in his heart,” a statement said. “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.”
Everly was born in 1937 in Brownie, Kentucky (Muhlenberg County) and was raised in a musical family with his younger brother Phil Everly. The pair began writing and recording music in the mid 1950’s and released their self-titled album in 1957.
The Everly Brothers’ first Billboard Top 40 hit came in 1957 with the release of “Bye Bye Love,” which peaked at #2 on that chart and hit #1 on Country radio.
Four months later, “Wake Up Little Susie” became their first #1 Top 40 single and remained at the top of the charts for 4 weeks. In the next 10 years, they had 27 Pop hits and 17 hits on Country radio in the United States.
The Everly Brothers released 21 studio albums in addition to numerous live and compilation albums. Don Everly also recorded several solo records including Sunset Towers and Brother Jukebox.
Rolling Stone magazine has described them as “the most important vocal duo in rock”.
Don was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019. As a duo, The Everly’s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 alongside Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry. The Everly’s were voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and were recipients of a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Two of their hits were honored with Grammy Hall of Fame awards including “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” and “Bye Bye Love.”
His brother Phil Everly died in 2014 of pulmonary disease at the age of 74.
Don Everly lived in Nashville and is survived by his wife Adela, his mother, Margaret who is 102 years old. His son Edan, and his daughters… Venetia, Stacy, and Erin.
Musician Jerry Lee Lewis said in a statement: “The Everly Brothers are integral to the fabric of American music. With my friend Don’s passing, I am reflective… reflective on a life full of wonderful friends, spectacular music and fond memories. There’s a lot I can say about Don, what he and Phil meant to me both as people and as musicians, but I am going to reflect today.”
Paying tribute to Mr Everly, Nancy Sinatra tweeted: “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.”
Ringo Starr, The Beatles drummer, tweeted: “God bless Don and Phil the Everly brothers we loved them peace and love.”