On Friday, January 3rd, the world lost a member of one of the most influential musicians to rock and roll. Phil Everly, one half of the duo The Everly Brothers, lost his battle with lung disease, only a couple weeks prior to his 75th birthday. Influencing some of the most successful artists, such as The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel, Phil and Don were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Despite their last studio album together being released back in 1988, the Everly brothers were always active on the music scene, appearing as guest vocals on tracks by various artists. After Phil’s death, fans and artists alike took to social media to express their sadness, showing just how much the duo shaped music today.
Green Day frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, who along with Norah Jones just released a collection of traditional songs (a reinterpretation of Everly brothers album, Songs our Daddy Taught Us) entitled Foreverly last year, shares on his Twitter “The Everly Brothers go way back as far as I can remember hearing music. Those harmonies live on forever. We’re gonna miss you Phil. Gratitude.”
Nancy Sinatra tweets “I love you Phillip – Godspeed.” Queen guitarist Brian May adds, “RIP Phil Everly… you were magic. I have tears in my eyes.”
Paul Simon, who worked with the duo on Graceland, wrote in an email following Phil’s passing, “Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard. Both voices pristine and soulful. The Everlys were there at the crossroads of country and R&B. They witnessed and were part of the birth of rock and roll."
Phil is survived by his wife, Patti, and two sons.