Henley is an American drummer known as the co-founder and the drummer of the Grammy-awardee band Eagles. Don Henley had been with the band since its formation in 1971 and is one of the most successful musicians in history.
He had a successful career either as an Eagles member or a solo artist. Besides being a drummer, he was also the band’s lead vocalist, making him one of the best drummers who sing out there.
Young Don Henley
Don Henley, or Donald Hugh Henley as his full name, was born on July 22, 1947, in Gilmer, Texas. He wasn’t born into a family that is close to music. Instead, he actually played football first before diving into the music world. Young Henley started playing music when he joined the Linden-Kildare High School band. It was there that he began to develop his skill in playing drums.
After high school, Don Henley went to North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and joined Shiloh, a country-rock band with Kenny Rogers as its lead singer. They released several singles and albums. However, Shiloh disbanded in 1971 due to the different ideas between Henley and his member Richard Bowden and the band’s leadership. Even though the band didn’t last long, Henley’s experience with the band is something he never forgot.
Don Henley as Eagles Drummer
After the disbandment of Shiloh, Henley co-founded the rock band Eagles with Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner in 1971. Since the start of their career, they already had hit songs, like Take It Easy, which was included in their first studio album in 1972. Some of their other famous songs are Desperado, Hotel California, and Life in the Fast Lane.
Eagles was one of the most successful rock bands of all time. They had not only several hits but also got numerous achievements from Grammy Awards. In total, they had six Grammy Awards. The band sold over 150 million records worldwide, which made them one of the best-selling bands of all time in America and US history. Some people even said Henley and Frey are the American versions of Paul McCartney and John Lennon from The Beatles.
Those great and successful careers didn’t make them stay together. Eagles disbanded in 1980 because of the different creative directions between Don Henley and Glenn Frey. However, they reunited and released a new album, Hell Freezes Over, in 1994. The album was a hit, got platinum, and won two Grammy Awards.
Thriving Solo Career
Henley started his solo career after his band Eagles disbanded in 1980. His debut album was I Can’t Stand Still, and it became successful right away as it charted on the Billboard 200 chart. Moreover, Dirty Laundry, included in his first album, was Henley’s all-time biggest solo hit single and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Henley’s second solo album, Building the Perfect Beast, was also successful as one of the singles, The Boys of Summer, reached number five on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum. The album included several hit singles, including The Boys of Summer, which won Henley a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year. These achievements show that Don Henley is undoubtedly respected as a musician and one of the best drummers in the industry.