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Nazareth’s first lead singer, Dan McCafferty passed away at the age of 76

Scottish hard rock band Nazareth‘s first lead singer, Dan McCafferty, has passed away at the age of 76, the group said.

Upon learning of McCafferty’s passing on Tuesday, band member Pete Agnew released a message to the group’s website that began, “This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make.”.”

He said, “Maryann and the family have lost a wonderful, loving husband and father; I have lost my best friend, and the world has lost one of the greatest singers who ever lived.”

“I’m too upset to say anything more at this time,”  he added.

McCafferty was one of the original members of Nazareth, which was formed in 1968 when the Scottish beat group Shadettes broke up. The other original members were Agnew, Manny Charlton, and Darrell Sweet.

The band gained international recognition with the smash 1975 album “Hair of the Dog” and is best known for their cover of the ballad “Love Hurts,” which peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in March 1976.

By 2013, McCafferty had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which made it hard for him to perform on stage because he had trouble breathing.

After recording the album “Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone” in the fall of that year, he left touring with Nazareth, and English rock singer Carl Sentence was brought in to take his place.

2019 saw the release of McCafferty’s final solo album, “Last Testament,” after working on a number of personal projects.