The singer passed away in California, of complications from lung disease

Phil Everly, who was one half of the Everly Brothers, has died aged 74.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the cause of death was complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His wife, Patti Everly, told the newspaper: “We are absolutely heartbroken.” She said that the disease was the result of a lifetime of cigarette smoking and added: “He fought long and hard.”

Phil performed with his older brother Don as the Everly Brothers. They were one of the biggest bands of the 1950s and early 1960s and were particularly known for their close harmonies. Their hits included ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, ‘Cathy’s Clown’, ‘Bye Bye Love’, and ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’.

The Everly Brothers were among the first 10 acts to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it was launched in 1986.

Phil was also credited by singer-songwriter Warren Zevon with providing the title of one of his biggest hits. While Zevon was working as the pianist and bandleader for the Everly Brothers, Phil asked him to write a dance song called ‘Werewolves Of London’.

Phil is survived by his brother, Don, his wife, Patti, his mother, Margaret, sons Jason and Chris, and two granddaughters.