Phil Everly of the duo Everly Brothers has died at age 74 after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Everly Brothers were part of the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when they were inducted in 1986, and joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
According to The Los Angeles Times and Billboard, the singer passed away Jan. 3 in Burbank, Calif. The Times confirmed the news via through Everly's wife, Patti, who told paper that the disease was contracted through a lifetime of smoking and that the family was "absolutely heartbroken."
"Along with older brother Don, Phil Everly took The Everly Brothers to the forefront of its peers, first finding success with its self-titled debut album in 1958," Billboard
reports. "The duo charted 31 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including 12 top 10 hits. They claimed a No. 1 single with 'Cathy's Clown; in 1960, which spent five weeks atop the chart. The act was also successful on the Hot Country Songs chart, tallying four No. 1s with 'Bye Bye Love,' 'Wake Up Little Susie,' 'All I Have To Do Is Dream' and 'Bird Dog.'"
Some of the duo's other big pop hits were "Problems" (No. 2 in 1958), "('Til) I Kissed You" (No. 4 in 1959) and "Let It Be Me" (No. 7 in 1960)," reports Billboard, which recently ranked the duo as the 66th-biggest act in the 55-year history of the Hot 100 chart. They are also the chart's third biggest duo ever, following Hall & Oates and the Carpenters.
Everly is survived by brother Don, 76, wife Patti, two sons and two granddaughters.