Nazareth frontman Dan McCafferty dead at 76

Dan McCafferty, the lead vocalist and founding member of the Scottish rock band Nazareth, has died aged 76.

“This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make,” McCafferty’s heartbroken bandmate Pete Agnew wrote on Instagram.

“Maryann [McCafferty’s wife] 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.”

No cause of death was provided.

The rocker, who was part of Nazareth from its inception in 1968, retired from touring with the band in 2013 due to the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — a lung condition that causes breathing difficulties.

McCafferty toured with the group for 45 years prior to stepping away from the road.

“I can’t sing on tour like I used to anymore,” he told Classic Rock in 2014. “I figure if you can’t do the job then you really shouldn’t be there. I’m sad about it but I just can’t sing a whole set live anymore.”

The band’s most famous songs include “Broken Down Angel” and “Hair Of The Dog.”‘

From left to right — guitarist Manny Charlton, drummer Darrell Sweet, singer Dan McCafferty and bassist Pete Agnew pose together in 1974.
From left to right — guitarist Manny Charlton, drummer Darrell Sweet, singer Dan McCafferty and bassist Pete Agnew pose together in 1974.

Nazareth performs on London Weekend Television's show, Supersonic, at the South Bank Television Centre on Oct. 23, 1975.
Nazareth performs on London Weekend Television’s show, Supersonic, at the South Bank Television Centre on Oct. 23, 1975.

Scottish rock group Nazareth performs their single 'This Flight Tonight' on the BBC TV music show 'Top Of The Pops', in London on Nov. 8, 1973.
Scottish rock group Nazareth performs their single ‘This Flight Tonight’ on the BBC TV music show ‘Top Of The Pops’, in London on Nov. 8, 1973.

The rocker was known for his raspy vocals on 70s rock classics, including the band’s cover of the Everly Brothers’ track “Love Hurts,” which climbed into the top 10 on the charts.

McCafferty also co-wrote many of the band’s songs throughout the 1970s. His vocals notably appeared on all of Nazareth’s albums up to 2014, with the final one being “Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone.”

Though he stepped away from touring, McCafferty released his third and final solo album in 2019, titled “Last Testament.”

Dan McCafferty retired from touring with the band in 2013 due to the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Dan McCafferty retired from touring with the band in 2013 due to the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Denver Post via Getty Images

The rocker is survived by his wife, Maryann McCafferty, and their two children.

His death follows closely that of the band’s founding member, Manny Charlton, who died aged 80 on July 5.






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