Dan Peek, co-founder of folk rock act America, has died at the age of 60. The cause of death is unknown at this time. According to his wife, Peek died in his sleep at their home in Missouri.
Peek formed America in the late 1960s with Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley. He sang and played guitar, bass, keyboard and harmonica.
The band gained recognition as they flew to the top of the charts with “A Horse with No Name,” “I Need You,” “Ventura Highway,” and “Lonely People” in the 1970s. During that time, America also received a Grammy Award for best new artist.
In 1977, Peek left the band and became a born-again Christian. He started a solo career and performed contemporary Christian music for a number of years.
On the group’s website, Bunnell wrote, “I am so sorry to learn of Dan’s passing. Dan, along with Gerry & myself, formed the band America as teenagers after being great friends in high school during the late 60’s. It was a joyous time for the three of us, full of excitement and laughter. We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined. Dan was an equal and integral part of that early history, and I have never forgotten the good times we spent making that music and learning about life together. Although we eventually went our separate ways, his contributions to the music of America have always been present and will last forever. This news brings great sadness. My sincere condolences go out to his wife, Catherine, and the entire Peek family. May Dan rest in peace, and his memory be cherished forever.”
Beckley commented, “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Dan’s passing. He was a dear friend for many years. Dan & his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all. My sincere condolences go out to Catherine and the entire Peek family. May he rest in peace….”