Dan McCafferty, the singer and frontman of the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth has passed away at the age of 76 from unspecified causes.
Nazareth bassist Pete Agnew confirmed McCafferty’s passing via a Facebook post Tuesday, writing: “Dan died at 12:40 today. This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make. Maryann and the family have lost a wonderful loving husband and father, I have lost my best friend and the world has lost one of the greatest singers who ever lived.
“Too upset to say anything more at this time.”
Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, McCafferty co-founded Nazareth in 1968 alongside Agnew, guitarist Manny Charlton and drummer Darrell Sweet. The band released their eponymous debut LP in 1971, and wowed fans with their brand of hard rock sound inspired by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Having co-wrote many of the group’s songs throughout the 70s, McCafferty is best known for his searing vocals on Nazareth’s top 10 hit cover of the Everly Brothers’ power ballad Love Hurts. Over the years, the track has appeared on iconic shows such as King of the Hill and That ’70s Show, and was even used in a scene from the 1993 film Dazed and Confused.
McCafferty remained the lead singer of Nazareth up till his retirement from touring in 2013 due ongoing struggles with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“I can’t sing on tour like I used to anymore,” the artist admitted in a 2014 interview. “I figure if you can’t do the job then you really shouldn’t be there… I’m sad about it but I just can’t sing a whole set live anymore.”
That said, McCafferty did not let his condition deter him from writing and recording music.
“To go into a studio and sing isn’t like doing a gig,” he told Classic Rock. “I could always make another record, but getting up to do an hour and three-quarters, and get people to pay money to come and see me – I can’t do that.”
The Nazareth star released his final solo album, Last Testament, in 2019.