Randy Meisner, a founding member of The Eagles, has died. The bassist and singer, who co-wrote and sang “Take It to the Limit,” was 77.
Meisner died due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Wednesday night, the band announced Thursday.
“Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band,” the group said in a brief statement. “His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Limit.’ “
Funeral arrangements are pending, the band added.
The Nebraska native co-founded The Eagles in 1971 with Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Bernie Leadon, after playing with the country-rock band Poco and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.
Meisner was primarily the band’s bassist but did write and sing several classic tracks on their albums. Meisner’s biggest hit with the band was “Take It to the Limit,” released as the third single from their 1975 album One of These Nights.
Meisner left the band after they recorded Hotel California in 1976. He chose to skip the tour to promote the record. “I could have tripled my money if I’d stayed,” Meisner told PEOPLE in 1981. “But I was just tired of the touring. It’s a crazy life that you live at twice the normal speed. When it got to the point of sanity or money… I thought I’d rather have sanity.”
While the Eagles reunited in 1994, Meisner was reportedly not invited. He did perform with the band at their 1998 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and was invited to join their 2013 world tour. He did not attend due to his declining health. In 2016, Meisner said the band helped pay for his medical care.
The musician was married twice, first to Jennifer Lee Barton — with whom he shares three children — from 1963 to 1981, and then to Lana Rae from 1996 until her death in 2016. Lana accidentally shot and killed herself in March 2016. Authorities determined Meisner was not involved in the shooting.