January 9, 2014 8:56

Paul McCartney pays tribute to one of his 'great heroes' Phil Everly

The Everly Brothers 'were one of the major influences on The Beatles' he writes

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Paul McCartney has paid tribute to Phil Everly, who died last week aged 74.

In a statement on his website, the former Beatle said that Everly was one of his "great heroes" and cited The Everly Brothers as a key influence on The Beatles.

"Phil Everly was one of my great heroes," he wrote. "With his brother Don, they were one of the major influences on The Beatles. When John and I first started to write songs, I was Phil and he was Don."

He added: "Years later, when I finally met Phil, I was completely starstruck and at the same time extremely impressed by his humility and gentleness of soul. I will always love him for giving me some of the sweetest musical memories of my life."

Phil Everly died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 74. Alongside older brother Don, The Everly Brothers 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 Everly is survived by his brother, Don, his wife, Patti, his mother, Margaret, sons Jason and Chris, and two granddaughters.

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