Dan McCafferty, Longtime Nazareth Singer, Dead at 76

Dan McCafferty, the longtime singer for legendary rockers Nazareth, had died. He was 76. According to Louder, Nazareth bassist Pete Agnew confirmed the news in a statement shared on Tuesday, Nov. 8th. No cause of death was provided. "Dan died at 12:40 today," Agnew reportedly wrote in a post on Facebook. "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."

McCafferty and Agnew formed Nazareth Dunfermline, Scotland with guitarist Manny Charlton and drummer Darrell Sweet in the late '60s. Between 1971 and 2014, the band put out 23 albums with McCafferty as the lead singer, including their massively successful album Hair of the Dog. That album featured the hit title track, as well as Nazareth's cover of The Everly Brothers' tune "Love Hurts," which has arguably become even more successful than the original. 

McCafferty's final album with Nazareth was 2014's Rock 'n' Roll Telephone, which was released the year after he retired from the band due to ongoing health issues. After McCafferty retired from Nazareth, he spoke with Classic Rock magazine about the reasons, revealing that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and not a stroke, as had been reported, was the main cause. The singer explained that his condition had "worsened in recent years" and led to him have to exit performances early. 

"You don't know when it's going to come on, but suddenly you can't breathe," McCafferty shared. He later added that he feels "if you can't do the job you shouldn't be there. Nazareth's too big for that."

Following the news of his death, many of McCafferty's fans and peers have taken to social media to mourn. "Very sad to hear of the passing of Nazareth's Dan McCafferty today. I was honored to be his company on the Rock Meets Classic Tour in 2016. My thoughts and condolences to his family and close friends," tweeted rocker Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, The Almighty).


"Sad to hear about Nazareth's Dan McCafferty passing away today," wrote musician Rich Jones (The Black Halos, Amen). "I feel like his voice has always been there since I first started listening to music. We played in Finland with him a few years back and even in poor health, he could SING (as well as put back a whisky or 2). RIP."