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For Rock Hall’s Consideration: Don Henley as a Solo Artist

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 16: Don Henley of the Eagles performs during 'History Of The Eagles Live In Concert' at the Bridgestone Arena on October 16, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

One of the most notable members of the Eagles is Don Henley. He along with Glenn Frey founded the band, and he would co-write and sing lead on some the band’s biggest hits, before going on to a successful solo career.

Henley formed the Eagles in 1971 with Glenn Fley, after departing from Linda Ronstadt’s band. Through the 1970s, the band released seven albums (four of which topped the charts), and became one of the decade’s most successful bands. Some of the classics where Henley sang lead includes “Desperado”, “Life in the Fast Lane”, and number ones “Best of My Love” and “Hotel California”.

Henley’s solo career began in 1981, with a gold-certified duet with Stevie Nicks on the song “Leather and Lace”. His first solo album I Can’t Stand Still came a year later, and contained the hits “Dirty Laundry” and “Johnny Can’t Read”. Then he became an MTV staple with the album Building the Perfect Beast, which went multi-platinum, and contained the top ten singles “All She Wants to Do is Dance” and “The Boys of Summer” (which contained the MTV Video Music Award winning video). His next album 1989’s The End of the Innocence, not only became his most acclaimed (ranked as one of the top 400 greatest albums by Rolling Stone), but also his most successful (six million copies sold). The album also contained the classics “The Last Worthless Evening”, “New York Minute”, and the title track.

In the 1990s, Henley’s solo career was derailed due to legal disputes with his label, Geffen. But in that time, were some highlights in that period including a duet with Scandal lead singer Patty Smyth, and of course the reunion of the Eagles. He finally released a solo album in 2000 with Inside Job, and future plans include more solo work, as well as a reunion tour with the Eagles.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Don Henley, inducted in 1998 (as member of the Eagles). Eligible as solo artist since 2007.

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