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Singer and guitarist who formed one of pop’s greatest vocal partnerships, the Everly Brothers, dies in Nashville

Don Everly, one half of the rock’n’roll duo the Everly Brothers, has died at his home in Nashville at the age of 84.

A spokesperson for the family confirmed Everly’s death to the Los Angeles Times, but did not disclose a cause.

A statement from the family said: “Don lived by what he felt in his heart. 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.”

Considered one of pop music’s greatest vocal partnerships, Phil and Don Everly had worldwide hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Bye Bye Love and All I Have to Do Is Dream.

Their unique vocal harmonies, coupled with ingenious guitar arrangements and timeless material, had a revolutionary impact on the Beatles, the Hollies, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Don Everly with brother Phil doing “On the Wings of a Nightingale,” a song Paul McCartney wrote for them in 1984.

The duo, who had 15 US top 10 hits between 1957 and 1962, were described as “the most important vocal duo in rock” by Rolling Stone magazine. The Everly Brothers were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year, 1986, alongside the likes of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, and received a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 1997.

Isaac Donald Everly was born on 1 February 1937 in Brownie, Kentucky, the son of coalminer Ike and Margaret Everly. A gifted guitar player, Ike moved the family to Chicago in the late 1930s in pursuit of a career in music, where the two brothers played alongside their parents in a band called the Everly Family.

The group dissolved in 1953 after their fortunes faded as the live radio market died, but Don and Phil went on as a duo.

Although the pair had an onstage breakup in 1973 that resulted in a decade-long estrangement, Phil later said that their relationship had survived the tumultuous period. Two years younger than Don, Phil died of pulmonary disease in 2014 at the age of 74.

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