Denny Laine, the renowned co-founder of the iconic bands Wings and The Moody Blues, and a celebrated collaborator of Paul McCartney, passed away at the age of 79 on Tuesday morning. This heartbreaking news was shared by his wife, Elizabeth Hines, through a poignant post on Laine's official Instagram account.
Laine had been bravely battling Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), a condition known for its unpredictability and aggressive nature, which led to his final days being spent in ICU on a ventilator. Laine's musical journey began in earnest in 1971 when he joined forces with Paul and Linda McCartney to form Wings, marking McCartney's first venture following the Beatles' dissolution.
The group made an immediate impact with their debut album "Wild Life," and continued their success with the 1973 release "Red Rose Speedway," which featured their first No. 1 hit, "My Love." However, it was Wings' 1973 album "Band on the Run" that cemented their place in music history.
The album, including hits like "Band on the Run," "Jet," and "Let Me Roll It," was a top-selling British album in 1974 and achieved No. 1 status in the US.
Laine's Musical Legacy
Laine's contributions to Wings extended beyond performance.
He co-wrote the track "No Words" and was a key figure in the band's Grammy wins, including the best pop vocal performance by a duo, group or chorus in 1975, and best rock instrumental performance in 1979. His harmonious working relationship with McCartney was evident, as Laine recalled in a Guitar World interview earlier this year, emphasizing their shared musical tastes and styles.
Before Wings, Laine was a pivotal figure in The Moody Blues, contributing significantly to their early R&B/blues sound before their shift towards progressive rock. Though his time with the group was brief, his influence was lasting, culminating in his inclusion in the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2018.
Beyond his group endeavors, Laine was a prolific singer, songwriter, and guitarist, the only member of Wings to remain with the band throughout its entire history, aside from the McCartneys. His co-writing of "Mull of Kintyre" with McCartney in 1977 remains a highlight, the track achieving No.
1 on the UK's Guinness Charts of British Hits Singles. Paying tribute, McCartney remembered Laine not just for his outstanding musical talent but also for his sense of humor and readiness to help others. Laine's legacy extends beyond his recorded work; he continued touring and performing live shows, including his "Songs & Stories" live show launched earlier this year, reflecting his passion for connecting with audiences through live performances.
Denny Laine's passing marks the end of an era in the music world, leaving behind a legacy of timeless music and an indelible mark on the hearts of fans and fellow musicians alike. His journey from the streets of Birmingham to the pinnacle of rock and roll fame is a testament to his immense talent and enduring influence.