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

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Denny Laine, co-founder of Moody Blues and co-founder and guitarist for Paul McCartney & Wings, passed away Tuesday, December 5, at the age of 79. 

News of his death was confirmed by his wife, Elizabeth Hines, who shared on social media that he had been in the hospital battling interstitial lung disease. She writes that “he fought every day,” but his disease was “unpredictable and aggressive,” noting “each infection weakened and damaged his lungs.” 

Laine co-founded the Moody Blues in 1964 with Graeme EdgeMike PinderRay Thomas and Clint Warwick. They had their first big hit with “Go Now,” a U.S. Top 10 hit on which Laine sang lead and played guitar. Though Laine left the band in 1966, a year before they released their seminal album Days of Future Passed, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of the group. 

Following his Moody Blues departure, Laine formed several other groups, including Electric String Band with Trevor Burton, and played in Ginger Baker’s Air Force in 1970.

Then, in 1971, he teamed with Paul McCartney and wife Linda to form McCartney’s first post-Beatles band, Wings. Over his 10 years with the group, they released seven studio albums, including the bestselling Band on The Run, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 

Other hit singles from the group during Laine’s tenure include the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die,” “My Love,” “Silly Love Songs” and “Let ‘Em In.” Laine left Wings in 1981, and the group disbanded, though he contributed to McCartney’s early ’80s albums Tug of War and Pipes of Peace.

Laine also embarked on a solo career, releasing 12 solo albums, starting with 1973’s Ahh…Laine. In 1996, he released Wings at the Sound of Denny Laine, featuring reworked versions of Wings tunes. His final solo album, The Blue Musician, came out in 2008.

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