Glenn Frey Biography


Birthday: November 6, 1948 (Scorpio)

Born In: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Glenn Frey was an American singer, songwriter, producer, and actor. He is best remembered for forming the famous rock band ‘Eagles’ in the early-1970s. As the founding member of the band, he played the guitar, piano, and keyboard. He was also one of the primary vocalists of the band and sang songs like ‘Take It Easy,’ ‘Tequila Sunrise,’ and ‘New Kid in Town’ among several other hits of ‘Eagles.’ Even as a child, he showed keen interest in music and took lessons on piano and guitar. Gradually, he entered the Detroit rock scene and formed bands like ‘Subterraneans,’ ‘Mushrooms,’ and ‘Heavy Metal Kids.’ In 1971, he formed the rock band ‘Eagles’ with Don Henley, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon. The group became one of the world's best-selling rock bands. After a decade of success, the group disbanded in 1980 before reuniting again in 1994. Meanwhile, Frey had a successful solo singing career and also dabbled in television and film acting. After an extensive battle with rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and pneumonia, he passed away in January 2016.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Glenn Lewis Frey

Died At Age: 67


Spouse/Ex-: Cindy Millican (m. 1990–2016), Janie Beggs (m. 1983–1988)

father: Edward Frey

mother: Nellie Frey

children: Deacon Frey, Otis Frey, Taylor Frey

Born Country: United States

Actors Musicians

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

Died on: January 18, 2016

place of death: New York City, New York, United States

City: Detroit, Michigan

U.S. State: Michigan

More Facts

education: Dondero High School, Oakland Community College, Royal Oak High School

Childhood & Early Life

Glenn Lewis Frey was born on November 6, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, USA, to Edward Frey and Nellie Frey. He spent his childhood in Royal Oak. As a child, he showed keen interest in music and took up piano lessons at the age of five. Later, he also learnt guitar.

In the mid-1960s, he entered the Detroit rock scene. One of the earliest bands which he formed was ‘Subterraneans.’ It included fellow classmates from ‘Dondero High School’; Doug Edwards, Jeff Hodge, Doug Gunsch, and Bill Barnes.

In 1967, he formed a band named ‘Mushrooms’ with Jeff Burrows, Bill Barnes, Doug Gunsch and Larry Mintz. The same year, Bob Seger helped the band secure a contract with ‘Hideout Records.’ Soon, the band appeared on television to promote their first single ‘Such a Lovely Child’ (written by Seger)

Before forming the ‘Mushrooms,’ he had joined a local band called ‘The Four of Us’ for a short while. In late 1967, he formed a band called ‘Heavy Metal Kids’ with Jeff Burrows, Jeff Alborell, Paul Kelcourse, and Lance Dickerson.

In 1968, he provided vocals and played the acoustic guitar for Seger's hit single ‘Ramblin' Gamblin’ Man.’

In 1969, he moved to Los Angeles and befriended J.D. Souther. Soon, he debuted as a songwriter for ‘Longbranch Pennywhistle,’ a two-member band formed with Souther. Subsequently, the band was signed to ‘Amos Records.’

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In 1970, Frey befriended drummer Don Henley, a fellow artist at ‘Amos Records.’ Together, they formed a backup band for Linda Ronstadt’s then upcoming tour. With time, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon were also roped in.

Frey and Henley decided to form a band with Meisner and Leadon. Thus, the ‘Eagles’ was born with Frey playing the guitar and keyboard. The band went on to become one of the world's best-selling groups ever.

After a decade-long success, the ‘Eagles’ disbanded around 1980 and Frey launched his solo singing career. He became quite successful and managed to establish himself as a singer.

In 1984, he recorded ‘The Heat Is On’ in collaboration with Harold Faltermeyer. The song was featured as the main theme for Eddie Murphy’s action-comedy film ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’

In 1985, he performed ‘You Belong to the City’ and ‘Smuggler's Blues’ for the popular television series ‘Miami Vice.’ The soundtrack of the series topped the U.S. album charts and featured on the ‘Billboard Hot 100.’ He also contributed to the soundtracks of films like ‘Ghostbusters II’ and ‘Thelma & Louise.’

‘The Eagles’ got back together in 1994 and released a new album titled ‘Hell Freezes Over.’ The album had four new songs, apart from live tracks. ‘The Hell Freezes Over Tour’ happened soon after.

In the late-1990s, Frey founded ‘Mission Records’ along with attorney Peter Lopez. However, Frey did not release any of his work on the label. ‘Mission Records’ label is now inactive.

Eagles' next album ‘Long Road out of Eden’ released in 2007. From 2008 to 2011, Frey took part in the ‘Long Road out of Eden Tour.’

In May 2012, he released ‘After Hours,’ his first solo album in 20 years.

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In 2013, a documentary titled ‘History of the Eagles’ was shown on Showtime. It was directed by Alison Ellwood and co-produced by Alex Gibney. The documentary won an ‘Emmy Award’ in 2013.

An associated two-year world tour on ‘History of the Eagles’ concluded in July 2015. This was his final public appearance with the band.

Acting Career

As a television actor, he guest-starred on ‘Miami Vice,’ appearing in the first season episode ‘Smuggler’s Blues.’

He played the lead role in the American TV detective series ‘South of Sunset’ in 1993. The series was canceled after an episode.

He guest-starred on ‘Nash Bridges’ in 1997. He then appeared on HBO's ‘Arliss’ in 2002.

He also acted in a couple of films like ‘Let's Get Harry’ (1986) and ‘Jerry Maguire’ (1996).
Major Works

Along with Henley, Frey wrote many of Eagles’ hit songs. He also provided vocals for songs like ‘Take It Easy,’ ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling,’ ‘Already Gone,’ ‘Tequila Sunrise,’ ‘Lyin' Eyes,’ ‘New Kid in Town,’ ‘Heartache Tonight,’ and ‘How Long.

In 1985, his songs ‘You Belong to the City’ and ‘Smuggler's Blues’ from the soundtrack of ‘Miami Vice’ topped the U.S. album charts. They were also featured on ‘Billboard Hot 100.’

His first film ‘Let's Get Harry’ (1986) was about a group of plumbers who visit Colombia to set a friend free from a drug lord. His next film was Cameron Crowe's ‘Jerry Maguire’ (1996) in which he played the thrifty general manager of the ‘Arizona Cardinals’ football team.

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Awards & achievements

‘The Eagles’ won six ‘Grammy Awards’ and five ‘American Music Awards.’ The band was also inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ in 1998.

24 singles, including his solo recordings and Eagles’ singles, made it to Top 40 on ‘Billboard Hot 100.’

Personal Life & Legacy

Glenn Frey was married to Janie Beggs from 1983 to 1988. He then married Cindy Millican in 1990. Frey and Millican were blessed with three children; a daughter and two sons.

Since 2000, he was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The medication led to other complications like colitis and pneumonia. In 2015, he required an intestinal surgery. The surgery was never performed due to complications from pneumonia. He was then kept in a medically-induced coma.

On January 18, 2016, he passed away in New York City at the age of 67, while recovering from a gastrointestinal tract surgery.


In 1994, at Eagles’ first live concert after their reunion, he told the crowd, “For the record, we never broke up. We just took a 14-year vacation.”

His son Deacon Frey toured with ‘The Eagles’ after his death.

According to an article published in ‘The News York Times’ magazine in June 2019, Frey was one of the several artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 ‘Universal Fire.’

Glenn Frey Movies

1. Jerry Maguire (1996)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport)


MTV Video Music Awards
1985 Best Concept Video Glenn Frey: Smuggler's Blues (1985)

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