When Glenn Frey died suddenly this week at 67, country artists from Keith Urban to Charles Kelley felt the loss. While Frey and the Eagles are most identified as a rock band, he and the group’s influence on country music can’t be overstated.
Vince Gill told Rolling Stone Country that the Eagles are “one of the most important bands ever,” and when it came to the country-rock sound they were “the patriarchs of that movement.”
Travis Tritt also weighed in, recalling how he helped reunite the Eagles for the video to “Take It Easy,” his contribution to the 1993 Common Thread Eagles tribute album. “It was only just an idea that I had and I had no way of knowing whatsoever that that would be the catalyst that would launch them back into going back out and working together again after being on a 14-year hiatus,” Tritt tells Rolling Stone Country. “All I knew was these guys had inspired me so much to want to be a musician and be a songwriter, and do music that appealed to people.”
Other artists posted videos of themselves performing Eagles hits sung by Frey. Keith Urban took to his piano to sing “Take It Easy,” while Old Dominion covered “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
Kelley, meanwhile, who dabbles in classic rock on his upcoming solo album The Driver, covering Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents” with Stevie Nicks, tweeted his feelings. “Still have such a sadness,” he wrote of Frey. “He was such a badass you thought [he] would live forever.”