Glenn Frey, Eagles Founding Member, Dies in New York City

The musician died today in New York City.

ByABC News
January 18, 2016, 7:29 PM

— -- One of the founding members of the Eagles, Glenn Frey, died today in New York City, his family and bandmates announced on the band's website.

He was 67.

According to the statement from his loved ones and colleagues, Frey's death was caused by complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

"The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery," read a statement on the Eagles' website. "Words can neither describe our sorrow nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community and millions of fans worldwide."

A Detroit native, Frey met Don Henley when they were in their 20s and new to the music business. Soon after, they formed the Eagles with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, quickly becoming one of the most popular rock bands of all time, with hits including "Take It Easy," "Desperado," and "Hotel California." (Meisner was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in 1977 and Joe Walsh took over for Leadon in 1975.)

"I think you have to make music for yourself and your friends and that's what we did. But you also want to get it on the radio -- you want people to hear it," Frey told Billboard in 2013 of the band's success. "There was a combination of things going on. We were a commercial band by the nature of our sound and those were the days when you had hit singles and they went on AM radio and the album tracks, the unedited stuff, went on FM. It was as simple as that. We were sort of able to do both successfully."

However, after four Grammy wins, the band broke up in 1980, and Frey went on to have a successful solo career, perhaps most notably singing "The Heat Is On" from "Beverly Hills Cop." He also acted a bit, guest-starring on "Miami Vice" and appearing in "Let's Get Harry" and later, in "Jerry Maguire." Then, in 1994, the Eagles reunited and released a new album, "Hell Freezes Over." Four years later, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the band went on to win two more Grammys.

"Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan," Henley noted. "He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven."

Last summer, the Eagles toured to promote an Emmy-winning documentary called "History of the Eagles."

"We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year 'History of the Eagles Tour' to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone," Henley stated. "I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

Frey is survived by his wife Cindy and their three children.