Don Everly, the last surviving member of the iconic country rock duo The Everly Brothers, has died at the age of 84. A spokesperson for Everly’s family confirmed the news to the LA Times, reporting that he passed away at home in Nashville on Saturday. No cause of death was immediately disclosed.
“Don lived by what he felt in his heart,” his family said in a statement. “Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams … with his soulmate and wife, Adela, and sharing the music that made him an Everly Brother.”
Isaac Donald Everly was born in 1937 in Brownie, Kentucky and grew up in a musical family with his brother Phil. His father Ike, originally a coal miner and also a guitarist, moved the family to Chicago in the late 1930s to pursue a career in music with his wife Margaret. After Phil was born in 1939, the family moved to Shenandoah, Iowa, where they hosted a country music show on local radio stations KMA and KFNF.
Following the success of the show, Ike took his two sons to Nashville where the boys auditioned for labels as a brother act, officially forming The Everly Brothers in 1957. They eventually signed a record deal with Columbia Records, but were dropped by the label after an unsuccessful 1955 single. They then signed with Cadence and were given a tune penned by the husband-and-wife writing team of Boudeleaux and Felice Bryant, ‘Bye Bye Love’, which topped the country chart and reached No. 2 on the pop singles chart. Between 1957 and 1962, the duo had 14 more Top 10 hits, including ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’, ‘Problems’, ‘Devoted to You’, ‘(Till) I Kissed You’, and ‘Cathy’s Clown’.
The Everly Brothers released a total of 21 studio albums, including 1958’s early landmark concept album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, in addition to numerous live and compilation albums. Don Everly also issued several solo records, including Sunset Towers and Brother Jukebox.
The Everly Brothers became one of the first groups to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 alongside Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly. Don was voted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019. His brother Phil died in 2014 of pulmonary disease at the age of 74.
Don Everly is survived by his wife of 24 years, Adela, his son Edan, and daughters Erin, Venetia, and Stacy.