Dan McCafferty: founder and former frontman of Scottish rock band Nazareth has died aged 76

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Nazareth’s founding member Dan McCafferty has died at age 76

Dan McCafferty, who was a founding member of Nazareth, has died less than a month after his 76th birthday.

The Dunfermline-born singer was best known for a number of rock classics such as ‘Love Hurts’, which shot to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975.

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The former frontman was in the Scottish hard rock band from it’s creation in 1968 until 2014, when he developed a lung condition which made it hard to breathe.

The cause of death has not been announced, but his former bandmate and bassist Pete Agnew confirmed the news on the Nazareth Instagram account yesterday.

He wrote: “Dan died at 12:40 today [Tuesday, 8 November].

“This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make. 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.

“Too upset to say anything more at this time. Pete”

Scottish vocalist Dan McCafferty performing with the hard rock group Nazareth at the Great British Music Festival in Olympia, London.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Scottish vocalist Dan McCafferty performing with the hard rock group Nazareth at the Great British Music Festival in Olympia, London.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Scottish vocalist Dan McCafferty performing with the hard rock group Nazareth at the Great British Music Festival in Olympia, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Nazareth fans from across the world responded to the sad news on social media, with many describing Dan as an “eternal idol” and another saying he was “the best rock voice ever”.

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One wrote: “Today is the saddest day of my life, Dan, you were my biggest idol in music, But this love for Nazareth and for you, will never end, Your voice all irreverent and different will be forgotten, you are unique, Rest in Peace, my eternal idol. 😔”

Over on Twitter, fans are also paying their respects to “one of the great British rock voices”.

Irish musician Ricky Warwick told his followers that he was “honored” to meet Dan on the Rock Meets Classic Tour in 2016. He added: “My thoughts and condolences to his family and close friends.”

Scottish hard rock quartet Nazareth, comprising vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)Scottish hard rock quartet Nazareth, comprising vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Scottish hard rock quartet Nazareth, comprising vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Dan was a founding member of Nazareth, which formed in Dunfermline in 1968, alongside Pete, late guitarist Manny Charlton and drummer Darrell Sweet.

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The 76-year-old retired from touring in 2013 due to complications with his lung health. However, before leaving the band, he was the lead vocalist on 23 albums including Razamanaz and Rock n Roll Telephone.

The singer also released three solo albums including his final album, Last Testament, in 2019.

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