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Denny Laine, co-founder of The Moody Blues and Wings, dies at 79

Denny Laine, co-founder of The Moody Blues and Wings, dies at 79

The guitarist and songwriter was part of Wings for a decade in the '70s and '80s.

Denny Laine, a co-founder of the Moody Blues and Wings, has died at age 79, his wife, Elizabeth Hines, announced on Laine's Facebook page

Laine, born in 1944, had struggled recently with interstitial lung disease. Hines set up a GoFundMe page early this fall to help with his medical costs. "For the past two months, he’s been in and out of the hospital concerning an illness in his lungs that developed after his short bout with COVID last year," Hines wrote on the GoFundMe page in September.

<p>Michael Putland/Getty Images</p> Denny Laine

Michael Putland/Getty Images

Denny Laine

"My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning," Hines shared on Tuesday. "I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favorite Christmas songs for him. He's been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he's been in ICU on a ventilator this past week."

She continued: "He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation center and eventually home. Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs... All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar."

Laine co-founded the Moody Blues in 1964 with Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas. He played with the group for the next two years and sang on the band's first hit, "Go Now." He was replaced in '66 by Justin Hayward, as the band took a turn toward the sound they're now best known for.

Following his departure from the Moody Blues, Laine played in a series of groups, including the Electric String Band, Balls, and Ginger Baker's Air Force, in addition to playing solo. 

Then Laine joined Paul and Linda McCartney to form Wings in 1971. Laine played with Wings into the early '80s when Wings disbanded, the sole non-McCartney to be a consistent member of the group. He performed on each of their albums, writing songs and singing, including the classic Band on the Run, released 50 years to the day before his death.

During his post-Wings career, Laine continued to perform as a solo artist, releasing his last studio album, The Blue Musician, in 2008. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of the Moody Blues.

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