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Dec-17-2007 11:23printcomments

Singer Dan Fogelberg Dies from Prostate Cancer at 56

American singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg passes away at his home in Maine.

Dan Fogelberg
Photos courtesy: danfogelberg.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - He's with the leader of the band now. At the age of 56, the legendary American singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg has passed away. His publicist says that after losing a battle with cancer, Dan left us this morning at 6:00 AM.

Recording "The Wild Places" at
Mountain Bird Studios - 1989

"He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."

Dan Fogelberg's talent came into focus in the 1970s and early '80s when he delivered songs like Leader of the Band, The Power of Gold and Same Old Lang Syne. Much to the dismay of his family, friends and fans, it was discovered that he had advanced prostate cancer in 2004.

He left this message for those who cared shortly before his death. It is reminiscent of the depth of his lyrics.

"I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of the thousands of wonderful people who have sent such incredibly moving and supportive e-mails via the Living Legacy web site. It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. Each one of you who have taken the time and effort to reach out to Jean and I have helped immeasurably to uplift our spirits and keep us looking strongly forward during some very rough moments. I thank you from the very depths of my heart."

Early Years

Dan Fogelberg was the youngest of three sons, born to Lawrence and Margaret Fogelberg in Peoria, Illinois August 13th 1951. His mother was a talented pianist, but father's role as a high school band director in Peoria would later be the inspiration for the song "Leader of the Band" which is included in this report at the bottom of the page.

He graduated from Woodruff High School in 1969 and went in to study theater arts and painting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also began performing as a solo acoustic player in area coffeehouses.

That is where Dan Fogelberg was discovered in 1971 by Irving Azoff. Fogelberg and Azoff promoted another Illinois act, REO Speedwagon, then moved to California to take their careers to the next level.

Soon Fogelberg was playing as a session musician with pop-folk artists like Van Morrison. His first album in 1972, Home Free, did not meet expectations, but his second album was a different story, and 1974's Souvenirs produced by Joe Walsh, was a major hit.

After that, Dan Fogelberg released a number of gold and platinum albums. They included Captured Angel in 1975; Nether Lands in 1977. He also found commercial success with songs like The Power of Gold, The Language of Love, and Lonely in Love.

His 1978 Twin Sons of Different Mothers was the first of two collaborations with jazz flutist Tim Weisberg. 1979's Phoenix was his most successful with Longer which became a wedding standard. The Innocent Age, released in October 1981, reached the peak of critical and popular acclaim. The double album Song Cycle included three of his biggest hits: Leader of the Band, Hard To Say, and Same Old Lang Syne, based on a real-life accidental meeting with a former girlfriend. In 1984 he did it again with Windows And Walls.

Dan and Jean in the "Green Room" at the Forum
Theatre in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, June 2003

Fogelberg's Departing Message

After receiving his cancer diagnosis he urged others to get tested. This excerpt from his sermon encourages men to begin testing for prostate cancer early on in their lives.

"I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test EVERY YEAR.

The medical community suggests this for men over 50, but men with a family history of prostate cancer should start getting tested at age 40.

The PSA test is a simple blood test...it only takes a minute or two. The DRE, okay, every man squirms at the thought of this exam, but hey, it too takes only a minute or two, and IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Prostate cancer can be very slow growing or very aggressive, but detected early while it is still confined to the prostate gland, it can usually be treated and cured successfully.

Once it spreads beyond the prostate it is called Advanced Prostate Cancer (PCa). At this point it becomes imminently more life threatening and harder to treat. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and GET CHECKED REGULARLY. I promise you, you DON’T want to go through what I’m going through if you can avoid it.

Education and awareness are key, I urge you to follow the link below to the Prostate Cancer Foundation web site and read up on how best to protect yourself and reduce your likelihood of contracting this terrible disease."

In addition to his music career, Dan Fogelberg wrote material that focused on the environment and the state of the world. His last album, 2003's Full Circle, was Fogelberg's first album in over a decade.

Good wishes, prayers, and condolences can be posted at: thelivinglegacy.net/wishes.html




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Steve Waterfield August 9, 2010 8:30 pm (Pacific time)

You can find peace through Dans Albums. Turn down the lights , put on a pair of headphones and listen to Souveniers, and the Netherlands,having an aquarium helps, but you will go on a peaceful and spirit lifting journey even if its just for a few hours. Thanks Dan.


Mark James Thompson May 31, 2009 9:36 am (Pacific time)

Another chapter of American music history passes into eternity. We will miss his genious and loving ways transposed onto sheet music. One hundred years from now, students will study his influence and works. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Jean and all who knew and loved him.


Trish February 25, 2008 10:13 am (Pacific time)

He was of my era, and love his music and seen him in concert in Nashville,Tn in 1977. My condolences to his children and wife that are left behind. My prayers are with you all.


Jeri January 3, 2008 9:17 am (Pacific time)

I loved him,as young girls love their idols,from afar. I never met him, but will always miss him, and I am very glad that he had found a real love in this life. My heart goes out to his family and I pray for comfort for his truest fan, Jean.


Mary December 22, 2007 6:50 am (Pacific time)

This man is one of the greatest singers/songwriters in history. I am devastated and will always think of dan the rest of my life.


Andy December 20, 2007 11:02 pm (Pacific time)

Like Dan, I'm his age and a singer/guitar player; he has so influenced me over the many years. What a gift he was to the world. He will be sorely missed.


Jan Terre Haute, IN December 19, 2007 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

Wow; how sad !!!!!!!! What a talented good looking guy. Condolences to his family.


Carolyn December 17, 2007 5:45 pm (Pacific time)

My heart is broken. A brilliant light has flickered out. I will remember Dan Fogelberg always. His music and words were the soundtrack of my life. Safe journey, my friend.


Matt Johnson December 17, 2007 2:48 pm (Pacific time)

It is a sad day in the world, Dan Fogelberg's music was nothing short of magical.

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