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When Glenn Frey died in 2016, his son Deacon filled in for the upcoming 2017 Eagles tour dates. He’s performed with the band ever since. Four and a half years later, Deacon is ready to do his own thing and will be stepping away from the legendary rock band. The band members will leave the door open if and when he wants to return to the Eagles

Deacon Frey performs on stage at Wembley Stadium in London England.
Deacon Frey | Simone Joyner via Getty Images

Deacon Frey and Vince Gil fill in after Glenn Frey’s death

In 1971, Glenn Frey co-founded the Eagles with Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, and Don Henley. The group went on to sell more than 200 million records, win six Grammy Awards, and have six No. 1 albums.

Their format is different from other rock groups because they don’t have a designated lead singer. Henley, Frey, Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Don Felder, and Timothy B. Schmit have all provided lead vocals to some of the Eagles’ biggest hits. However, Henley and Frey have more vocal credits and were often attributed as the guiding force behind the Eagles. 

When Frey died at 67 from pneumonia, his son Deacon and solo artist Vince Gil stepped in to help the group. The two have toured with the Eagles for the past four and a half years, with Deacon taking vocals on “Take It Easy,” “Already Gone,” “Tequila Sunrise,” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”

On Apr. 6, the Eagles posted a statement announcing Deacon’s departure on their website. It read, “Deacon Frey has devoted the past 4½ years to carrying on his father’s legacy and, after some weeks of reflection, he now feels that it is time for him to forge his own path.” 

The statement continued, “We understand, completely, and we support him in whatever he wishes to pursue in the years ahead.”

The Eagles say Deacon ‘did an extraordinary thing’ 

The members of the Eagles expressed gratitude toward Deacon, “In the wake of his dad’s demise, Deacon, at age 24, did an extraordinary thing by stepping from relative anonymity into the very public world of his father’s long, illustrious career.”

“We are grateful to Deacon for his admirable efforts and we wish him well as he charts his future.”

The group left the door open for Deacon to return if he so chooses. “Deacon’s Eagles Family will always be here to surround him with love, support and goodwill, and he is always welcome to join us on stage at any future concerts if he so desires. We hope our fans will join us in wishing Deacon the very best as he moves into the next phase of his career.”

Vince Gil and Timothy B. Schmit will sing lead vocals on Deacon Frey’s songs

Deacon’s departure was not out of the blue. As Variety reports, he was absent from the group’s shows earlier this year. When the Eagles tour resumed in February, Deacon was not with them on stage.

If things proceed the way they did for those shows, Gil will now sing “Take It Easy,” “Already Gone,” and “Tequila Sunrise.” Schmit will sing lead on “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” Gil also sings lead on songs previously sung by Meisner. 

The Hotel California tour is set to resume on Apr. 19 in Columbus, Ohio and finish its US dates at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, on May 28. The group will then play five dates in the UK, finishing up on Jun. 26 at London’s Hyde Park. 


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