Stevie Wright of the Easybeats Dies
Stevie Wright, the lead singer of Australia's Easybeats, has died at age 68.
Songs associated by Wright were later covered by David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart. He apparently fell ill on Saturday (Dec. 27), and passed today after being admitted to Moruya Hospital in New South Wales.
"Friday On My Mind," the Easybeats' lone U.S. Top 20 hit, found a home on Bowie's Pin-Ups in 1973. The Easybeats took the song to No. 1 in their native Australia, and No. 6 in the U.K. Later, after the Easybeats split, Wright rose to solo fame – a period highlighted by the song "Evie." His 1974 album Hard Road, featuring a title track later remade by Stewart for his Smiler project, went to No. 2 in Australia.
Wright's career momentum slowed after 1975's Black Eyed Bruiser, and he eventually reunited with former Easybeats bandmates George Young and Harry Vanda – key figures in the early days of AC/DC – for 1982's Headlines. Wright battled drug addiction along the way, but made a comeback in the early 2000s as part of Australia's Long Way to the Top concert series – named after an AC/DC hit.
Unfortunately, other health issues followed. His most recent performance was reportedly at the Legends of Rock Festival in 2009; Wright had been inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame as member of the Easybeats four years before. Springsteen memorably covered the Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind" during a 2014 concert at Sydney.
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