Singer and guitarist Phil Everly, one half of the legendary duo The Everly Brothers, died on Friday at the age of 74. He was checked in at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA, but hospital personnel were unable to disclose the cause of death due to the wishes of Everly's family. His wife Patti made a statement saying his death was the result of lung disease, however.
The Everly Brothers became one of the bestselling and influential acts in music during its 16-year run from 1957-'73. The group was esteemed for its dual-vocal approach, with Phil providing a higher range backed by brother Don's lower delivery. The style ended up influencing a whole generation of group's that specialized in coupling vocalists, such as The Beatles and the Beach Boys among many. The style was a hit on the airwaves as well, resulting in 35 Top 100 songs, the highest total ever for a musical duo (Hall & Oates came close with 34). Among the Everly's most popular hits are "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "When Will I Be Loved."
The brothers were also subject to the influence of their Kentucky upbringing (both parents were involved in the country-western industry), resulting in rock 'n' roll featuring a healthy dose of folk and bluegrass influences. As a result, the group has been inducted into both the Rock 'n' Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame.
Unfortunately the duo's run came largely to an end during 1973. Phil famously stormed off the stage during a show, when disagreements between himself and his brother came to a head. The group played reunion shows and even released new albums after that point, but the glory years were over. Don wasn't present when his brother passed away, but he told the Associated Press that he had a surreal experience around that time, which he took as a sign.
"I was listening to one of my favorite songs that Phil wrote and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got the news of his passing," he said. "I took that as a special spiritual message from Phil saying goodbye. Our love was and will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had."