Don Henley is a very known musician and singer from the USA who made fame as one of the members and founders of a very popular rock band named The Eagles. His fame grew through the years and he never really got any less popular.
Don Henley is a great drummer and a vocalist who continued his solo career after the group broke up. This was a devastating event for all of their fans, but they were relieved as they found out that the members are going to pursue solo careers.
Don is honored to be one of the greatest singers ever, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
He succeeded in making a great solo career alongside his career with The Eagles. This was very important for him because he had to regain that attitude later.
He was born as Donald Hugh Henley on July 22, 1947, in a city in East Texas called Gilmer. He had spent his childhood in a small town named Linden. He says that his childhood was pretty interesting and that he has really nothing to complain about.
Don’s family has roots in Ireland, England, and Scotland which can be seen through their surnames McWorther and Henley. He doesn’t really look too Scottish, he says, but some words will show his accent.
Don was a student at Linden-Kildare High School and was a very good athlete who especially liked football. He said that it was a great way to get all of his energy out and to remain focused in his classes.
Since his build was smaller than from other football players he stopped playing football and entered the school’s band. He found interest in it and played both the trombone and percussion. He said that this was probably the best decision he has ever made because it welcomed him into the world of music, and he soon realized that he also has a great voice.
After graduation in 1965, he enrolled the Stephen Austin State University after which he relocated to North Texas State University in the town of Denton. He was a student there for 3 years, until 1969.
When his father became seriously ill Don went back home and quit his education to be with his father so he never finished his college education. He says that he sometimes feels bad about that and he wonders what would happen if he did.
During his time in high school, he was a member of a band named “Four Speeds”. The band changed its name to Felicity and succeeded in releasing a single “Hurtin”.
In 1969, Don and his band were introduced to Kenny Rogers who liked their music style very much. They changed the name of the band to Shiloh like Kenny recommended and made several songs with him.
They released their first single called “Jennifer” while collaborating with Kenny. Kenny was a huge help to the band and he secured them a contract with Amos Records and helped the band members to relocate to LA. They even lived with Kenny in his home for a while.
In 1970 they made their first album but One year later the group broke up because Don Henley and Michael Bowden had huge creative differences.
In 1971, Don Henley and Glenn Frey became part of the band for Linda Ronstadt’s tour that year. Don and Glenn got along very well and decided to form a rock band after the tour ended.
They recruited two more members: Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon and the group Eagles were born. The group had quite a lot of fans and they had global success over the years.
The group soon signed a contract with Asylum Records, which soon released their debut album in 1972. The album was a success, especially the lead single named “Take It Easy”. This song, co-written by Glenn Frey came to No. 12 on Billboard 100 chart.
Glenn Frey and Don Henly were both vocalists and both of them sang a lot of hit songs and worked together well since both were skilled singers and songwriters.
In 1973 the band released their album Desperado which was recorded in London and was themed on Old West.
In the spring of 1974 the group released its 3rd album produced by Bill Szymczyk and featured their new guitarist Don Felder.
In the summer of 1975, they have released “One of These Nights” which was their 4th album and it was the first album they released which went to No.1 on Billboard Hot Album list.
This album received a nomination for Grammy in the category of the Album of the Year, but they received Grammy in another category: Best Pop Performance.
Their best-selling album until then was released in 1976 and it became legendary. We are speaking about “Hotel California” with No.1. Songs: “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California”. This album is included in Top 50 albums of all time by Rolling Stone.
In 1978 they have released their 6th album called “The Long Run” which was already recorded intense surroundings caused by the difference of the group members.
The last album was named “Long Road Out of Eden” which won two Grammy awards and was released in 2007. In the meantime the group was disbanded from 1980s to 1994 when they reunited and started touring again.
Don toured with the group from 1994-96 on their “Hell Freezes Over” tour. From 2013 untjl 2015 Don was on “History of the Eagles” tour which ended a few months prior the death of Glenn Frey, one of the founders of the band.
In the 1900s, after the Eagles disbanded, Don Henley has released his debut album named “I Can’t Stand Still”. The album did very well and it received quite a lot of good critics, which is why the band was encouraged to do more and to host many more concerts.
It was released by Asylum Records and entered Top 30 Billboard 200 chart. The most successful single from this album was “Dirty Laundry”. This single received a Grammy nomination.
In 1982 he made a song titled “Love Rules” which was placed on a soundtrack of the teen comedy movie called Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
In 1984 he released another album named “Building the Perfect Beast” which was a huge commercial success and was certified Platinum three times.
The biggest hit on this album was the song “The Boys of Summer”. The video for this single won the MTV Best Video of the Year Award.
In 1989 Don Henley released a new album named “The End Of The Innocence”, this time through Geffen Records.
This album turned out to be his biggest album, earning him not only a large amount of money due to over 6 million copies sold but also gaining him another Grammy Award, in the category of Best Male Rock Vocal performance.
In 1990, Don Henley appeared in a TV series “Unplugged” aired on MTV but his appearance was very short. He said that he is not a much of a TV guy, although he wishes he was because he would be able to act in movies and TV series.
In 199t his own greatest hits album got released through Geffen Records, under the name “Actual Miles: Henley’s Greatest Hits”.
Don Henley is considered to be one of the greatest singing drummers ever because he sings perfectly at the same time he plays drums.
In 1993, Don Henley entered into a dispute with his Geffen record label because he terminated his contract but did not fulfill his obligation to make two more albums and his greatest hits album through the same label.
The owner of Geffen Records, David Geffen, made an agreement with most of other record labels which obligated the labels to turn Henley down if he would come to sign to them.
Geffen Records also sued hum for their financial loss. The dispute ended when The Eagles reunited and released their reunion album which satisfied Geffen Records financially since their album had huge sales.
He made several collaborations in this period, like with Trisha Yearwood on “Walkaway Joe” and with Patty Smith on her single “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”.
He also voiced the character of Henry Faust in 1993, a musical called “Randy Newman’s Faust”.
Don’s battle with Geffen Records made him a spokesman for the rights of artists in their fight against major labels which take a large amount of money from their artists. He was named as the head of “Recording Artists Coalition”.
In 2000, Don released his new album, after over a decade of hiatus. It was named “Inside Job” and received moderate success. He said that he took this as a sign that maybe he should make a little pause in his career and focus on other things that he had been neglecting over the last few decades.
2002 brought his live DVD album released. It was named “Don Henley: Live Inside Job”. In 200t he was an opening act for Stevie Nick. He made several duet singles with Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire.
His 5th album came 15 years after the 4th, and it was named “Cass County” which gained positive critics. It was in 2015 and he named his album after the place he grew up in.
Don Henley was highly involved in many ecological and educational causes. He is the founder of the Walden Woods Project in 1990 and a part of the album of the Eagles called “The Songs of the Eagles” went to that cause.
In 1993, he became one of the founders of the Caddo Lake Institute which was based on ecological education. He said that he is very proud of that thing and that he would love to do even more.
He contributed to several charitable causes like “The Race to Erase MS” and similar campaigns that help people in trouble.
He was especially passionate about the MS campaign since his wife was diagnosed with the same disease and he knows that it is a very hard illness to cope with.
Don is a member of the Democratic Party and has often donated to their campaigns.
As for his personal life, it was quite turbulent and he had a lot of short and long relationships during his life.
In 1974 he started an affair with Loree Rodkin, a jewelry designer from LA which ended the same year.
In 1975, Don entered a relationship with Stevie Nicks, a known singer with whom he was together for 2 years. She was the lead singer in the rock group named Fleetwood Mac.
He soon started dating Lois Chills, a talented and beautiful American actress known for her role in a James Bond movie.
In 1980 he was involved in a controversy after two minors were found in his home, both under influence of drugs. Both of the minors were young girls and one of them almost died due to drug overdose.
This caused his arrest and a charge of two years of probation for supporting minor delinquency and using drugs.
His next relationship was with Maren Jensen, who was also an actress like Lois. They were together several years and he dedicated his 1st solo album to her while they were still together.
He got married to Sharon Summerall in 1995 who was later diagnosed with Ms. The pair has three children together.
His current net worth is estimated at $200 million.
When he speaks about his longevity in playing and singing with The Eagles with whom he toured in Europe in 2019 he says that he has damage to the nerves in his arms and shoulders because of the repetition movements he had through years of playing the guitar.
He also says that years have damaged his hearing so he will soon be unable to perform in the quality he is used to.
Full name: Donald Hugh Henley
Date of birth: July 22, 1947
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States
Profession: Singer, songwriter, author
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 65 kg
Net Worth: $200 million