Moody Blues and Wings singer Denny Laine has died, aged 79

5 December 2023, 18:56 | Updated: 5 December 2023, 19:06

Denny Laine in 1981
Denny Laine in 1981. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

The music world is mourning the loss of Denny Laine, the iconic guitarist and founding member of Wings, who passed away at the age of 79.

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Denny Laine, whose real name was Brian Frederick Hines, was also a co-founder of the Moody Blues and left a memorable mark on rock music with his talent and passion.

The guitarist had been battling interstitial lung disease. In a statement, Laine's wife Elizabeth Hines said he had expected to recover from lung disease, but the condition got worse.

"He fought everyday. He was so strong and brave, never complained," she wrote. "All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar."

Thanking fans for their support, she asked for "the time and privacy" the family would need "as we grieve for our loss".

Born on October 29, 1944, in Tyseley, Birmingham, England, Laine's musical journey began at a young age. He was inspired by the gypsy jazz musician Django Reinhardt and gave his first solo performance at the age of 12.

His early career saw him fronting Denny Laine and the Diplomats, which included future drummer Bev Bevan of the Move and Electric Light Orchestra.

Denny Laine in 2023
Denny Laine in 2023. Picture: Getty

Laine's rise to fame came with the Moody Blues, where he sang lead vocal on their first big hit, 'Go Now'. His tenure with the band was marked by several UK hits and a distinctive sound that helped shape the landscape of rock music.

In 1971, Laine joined forces with Paul McCartney to form Wings, contributing to some of the most memorable songs of the 1970s, including 'Band on the Run', 'Live and Let Die', and 'Silly Love Songs'.

Throughout his six-decade career, Laine worked with various artists and groups and continued to record and perform as a solo artist. His contributions to music were recognized in 2018 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

Denny Laine's legacy will live on through his music and the countless musicians he has inspired. His passing is a significant loss to the music community, but his contributions will continue to resonate for generations to come.

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