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Randy Meisner, founding member of the Eagles and Take It to the Limit singer, dies

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Eagles founder member and Take It to the Limit singer Randy Meisner has died aged 77, his band announced.

The bassist died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, the Eagles said in a statement.

The legendary rock band said Randy was an “integral part” of the Eagles and “instrumental in the early success of the band.

“His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, Take It to the Limit,” they added.

Meisner, who added high harmonies to such favourites as Take It Easy and The Best of My Love joined Don Felder, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon in the early 1970s to form one of the most popular acts in history.

Evolving from country rock to hard rock, the Eagles turned out a run of hit singles and albums over the next decade, starting with Take It Easy and continuing with Desperado and Hotel California among others.

Led by singer-songwriters Henley and Frey, the Eagles were initially branded as “mellow” and “easy listening”.

But by their third album, the 1974 release On the Border, they had added a rock guitarist, Felder, and were turning away from country and bluegrass.

Leadon, an old-fashioned bluegrass picker, was unhappy with the new sound and left after the 1975 album One of These Nights.

Meisner stayed on through the 1976 release of Hotel California, the band’s most acclaimed record, but was gone soon after. His departure came shortly after the recording of the song he co-wrote and was best known for, Take It to the Limit.

The bassist had endured numerous afflictions in recent years and personal tragedy in 2016 when his wife, Lana Rae Meisner, accidentally shot and killed herself.

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Meisner had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had severe issues with alcohol, according to court records and comments made during a 2015 hearing in which a judge ordered Meisner to receive constant medical care.

He had been ill and homesick during the Hotel California tour (his first marriage was breaking up). His objections during a Knoxville, Tennessee concert in the summer of 1977 so angered Frey that the two argued backstage and Meisner left soon after.

As a solo artist, Meisner had hits with Hearts On Fire and Deep Inside My Heart.

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