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Denny Laine, singer-guitarist of The Moody Blues and Wings, dies at 79 after 'health setbacks'

Rock singer-songwriter Denny Laine, best known as co-founder of the groups The Moody Blues and Wings, died Tuesday. He was 79.

Laine died Tuesday morning in Naples, Florida, at NCH Baker Hospital, his publicist Alan Miller confirmed to Naples Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Network. The singer-guitarist had been in and out of the hospital for a collapsed lung, bacterial infections and other issues.

Laine's wife Elizabeth Hines shared news of her husband's death in a post on Laine's official Facebook page, saying her "world will never be the same."

"My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning," Hines wrote. "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."

Laine had struggled with various health issues since getting COVID-19 last year.

"He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation center and eventually home," Hines wrote. "Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs.

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

Rock singer-songwriter Denny Laine, best known for his stints in The Moody Blues and Wings, died Tuesday after suffering numerous "health setbacks."
Rock singer-songwriter Denny Laine, best known for his stints in The Moody Blues and Wings, died Tuesday after suffering numerous "health setbacks."

Laine was the original lead singer and guitarist for classic-rock greats The Moody Blues. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. He also worked side by side with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney throughout the ‘70s in their hugely popular band Wings.

His death comes almost exactly 50 years after the release of McCartney's acclaimed "Band On the Run" album, on which Laine played guitar and provided backing vocals.

Denny Laine, from left, Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney were the core of Wings.
Denny Laine, from left, Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney were the core of Wings.

Paul McCartney pays tribute to Denny Laine

Comments started pouring in on social media soon after the announcement of Laine's death, including Laine's former bandmate McCartney.

The "My Love" singer called Laine an "outstanding vocalist and guitar player."

"I am very saddened to hear that my ex-bandmate, Denny Laine, has died," McCartney wrote on Facebook. "I have many fond memories of my time with Denny: from the early days when The Beatles toured with the Moody Blues. Our two bands had a lot of respect for each other and a lot of fun together."

He added: "Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends."

Greg Martin, more stars mourn Denny Laine

Greg Martin, guitarist of country rock band The Kentucky Headhunters, wrote on Facebook: "Sending our love from Kentucky. Our condolences to the family."

Rest in peace, Denny," Micky Dolenz of The Monkees wrote on X. "A friend, a wonderful person, and a great musician. You and your music will be sorely missed.”

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This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Denny Laine dead: Paul McCartney mourns Wings and Moody Blues musician