US country-rock pioneer Don Everly, who was the surviving half of the Everly Brothers, has died aged 84 after a career delighting fans with a string of hits such as ‘Bye Bye Love’ and ‘Wake Up Little Susie’.
His death in the music hub of Nashville, Tennessee was announced by the Country Music Hall of Fame, which called him “one of the most talented and impactful artists in popular music history.” No cause of death was provided.
Tributes from the music world were led by Carole King, Roy Orbison Jr, and Julian Lennon, who tweeted: “R.I.P. Don Of ‘The Everly Brothers’ who along with his brother Phil, wrote some of the most memorable & classic songs of all time… Thank You for the Music.”
The duo, credited with influencing rock and country singers for decades, was among the inaugural honourees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, alongside Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 2001 they were inducted into their country counterpart. Don’s brother Phil Everly died in 2014, aged 75.
The duo’s high-pitched, fluid harmonies brought them a series of hit ballads and rock tunes. ‘Wake Up Little Susie’ and ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ both topped the US charts in the 1950s.
Their output dropped off in the 1960s but they still chalked up favorites such as ‘Cathy’s Clown’ and ‘Crying in the Rain.’