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


Denny Laine, who co-founded British bands The Moody Blues and Wings, died early Tuesday morning. He was 79.

The death of the two-time Grammy Award winner followed a battle with “unpredictable and aggressive” interstitial lung disease (ILD), from which he was originally expected to recover, said his widow, Elizabeth Hines. She wrote on a GoFundMe in September that Laine’s illness began over the summer, following a “short bout with COVID last year.”

“My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning,” Hines announced in a statement on the musician’s verified Facebook page. “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.”

British pop group The Moody Blues strike a pose on Feb. 12, 1965, from left, Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick. (Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images/TNS)

“He fought everyday. He was so strong and brave, never complained,” Hines continued. “All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar. … My world will never be the same. Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me. He made my days colorful, fun and full of life — just like him.”

Hines requested “the time and privacy” for Laine’s friends and loved ones to “grieve for our loss.”

Laine — who was born in the Channel Islands and raised in Birmingham, England — helped found The Moody Blues in 1964 as a guitarist and vocalist after his local band, Denny and the Diplomats, struggled to find success.

Though Laine was with The Moody Blues for their first hit, the cover of “Go Now,” he left the group in 1966 ahead of two of their most notable songs, “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon.” However, in 2018, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the band.

Laine joined forces with Paul and Linda McCartney in 1971 to form Wings — for which he sang and played guitar and bass. He played on the likes of “Band on the Run,” “Live and Let Die” and helped pen “London Town” and “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”

Laine eventually moved on to a solo career, during which time his 1980 album “Japanese Tears” even featured a reunion with McCartney on the track “Send Me the Heart.”

Though Laine released his last solo album, “The Blue Musician,” in 2008, he was still touring until shortly before his death.

In addition to Hines, Laine is survived by five children.


© 2023 New York Daily News

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