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Dan Peek, a founding member of Grammy-winning ’70s group America, died over the weekend at his Missouri home at age 60.
“I am so sorry to learn of Dan’s passing. We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined,” bandmate Dewey Bunnell wrote on America’s website. “Dan was an equal and integral part of that early history, and I have never forgotten the good times we spent making that music and learning about life together. Although we went our separate ways, his contributions to the music of America have always been present and will last forever. May Dan rest in peace, and his memory be cherished forever.”
Here are a few things you may not know about the musician.
1. Peek and fellow band members Gerry Beckley and Bunnell, who first met at a U.S. Air Force base in West Ruislip, London, had three platinum albums and three gold albums between 1971 and 1975.
2. The group won a Grammy for best new artist in 1971. The Recording Academy’s Neil Portnow called Peek “a dynamic individual and great talent.”
3. They also had eight Top 40 hits in the early 1970s, according to Billboard. Hits included “A Horse With No Name,” “Lonely People” and “Don’t Cross the River.” They
4. Peek left the band in 1977 because the rock and roll lifestyle was not a good fit for his born-again Christian beliefs. Peek launched a solo career in the Christian music genre and was nominated for a Grammy for the track “All Things Are Possible.” “Divine Lady,” “Doer of the World” and “Cross Over” also fared well on the Contemporary Christian Music chart.
5. Peek, who plays the guitar, bass, keyboards and harmonica, was born in Panama City, Florida, but lived most recently in semiretirement in Farmington, Missouri (about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis) with his wife, Catherine.
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