Longtime friend and legendary singer-songwriter also Jackson Browne joined the band onstage, taking over Frey’s spot as lead vocalist on the band’s debut 1972 hit, “Take It Easy.” Frey, who died on Jan. 18 at the age of 67 from complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, co-wrote the song with Browne.
Just days before the ceremony, Eagles’ longtime manager Irving Azoff confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the band planned to take the stage together to their late friend.
“We knew [the Grammys] were going to do something to honor Glenn, as they well should, and our band decided they’d like to participate in it rather than watch someone else do it,” Azoff explained. “We wanted something simple and elegant, and in discussing it with the family, we wanted an uptempo moment.”
Although the feel-good vibe of the song kept the moment mostly upbeat, it was impossible to ignore the air of sadness that hovered over the performance. The usually energetic and infectious energy displayed by each musician was instead replaced with solemnity as they remembered the rock legend who was taken all too soon.
Click below to watch the Eagles’ moving tribute to the late Glenn Frey at the Grammys.