Phil Everly, the younger brother of the hit rock and roll duo The Everly Brothers, has died at the age of 74. He passed away Friday (Jan. 3) from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Along with brother Don, the brothers' career spanned five decades, and though they broke up amid quarreling in 1973, they put aside their differences in 1983, "sealing it with a hug," Phil said.

Phil's parents were country and western singers, so the brothers' music had a heavy country influence despite being characterized as rock.

Don believed they were successful because "we never followed trends. We did what we liked and followed our instincts.

"Rock 'n' roll did survive, and we were right about that. Country did survive, and we were right about that. You can mix the two but people said we couldn't."

The brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, the same year their hit pop-country record "Born Yesterday" came out.

Phil's COPD was caused by smoking and certainly affected his health, says his son Jason Everly. But it never affected his voice.

"He sang like an angel," his son said. "It was pretty surprising how he could still get those notes. We would still talk about it and sing together."

The singer last performed in public in 2011, but his son shares that his father had been writing songs actively since then.