Co-founder of the band America dies
Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek were members of the band America.
July 27th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

Co-founder of the band America dies

Dan Peek, one of the founders of the Grammy-winning band America, has died according to a posting on Peek's web site.

Visitors to are greeted with the words "Dan went to Heaven on July 24 2011" and a video of Peek performing "Lonely People."

On the band's site, America members Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley expressed their sympathies.

"We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Peek yesterday," a statement said." Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peek family."

Bunnell told Billboard that Peek, 60, was "semi-retired." He reportedly lived with his wife Catherine in the Cayman Islands.

According to Billboard, America had three platinum and gold albums as well as eight Top 40 hits between 1971-75. Peek launched a solo career in 1979 with the Christian contemporary hit, "All Things Are Possible" after becoming a born-again Christian and leaving the band.

Bandmate Bunnell payed tribute to Peek on the America site.

"We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined," Bunnell wrote. "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. "

Bunnell and Beckley have continued the group.

soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Gary Deloz

    What Album was the picture with the Swords in?

    June 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Irrawlelia

    for lv replica bags to take huge discount

    February 3, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ines

    But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't, didn't already have... Glorious lyrics from a great song, I also love Ventura Highway, The lonely people, A horse with no name,etc, etc, etc, RIP!

    July 29, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Helm

    Ah the 70s... when classic tunes were commonplace and immortal bands were everywhere. RIP Dan.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anonynomnom

    Ride that horse lololol looks like 3 girls who f@&kn cares?

    July 28, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. brian

    Sorry to hear it, but America had a major hit in the early 70s and sold out pretty damn quickly. Very frustrating. They could have been much, much better.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • UhYeaOk

      Just how did they "sell out"? Their music from first to last was very similar in sound and quality.

      June 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ?

    I hope u all ch0ke on a big weiner

    July 28, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |

    This is one of the BEST 70's bands out there.
    I can remember I had to replace their VINYL ALBUM, 2 times because I played it so much.
    Rip my friend, you will long be remembered.
    Thank you for all the great music you gave us, during your time with us. 🙂

    July 28, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Grumpster

    #2.........waiting for the 3rd shoe to drop.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. ?

    @fake gillian lane. STFU! Your so sickening, not the least bit funny. Time for some new material, BOY.

    July 28, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Roy Angelo

    RIP. I'll remember America's music on my teenage youth days. Those music will live forever. More power to the remaining members of the band.

    July 28, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. GillianLane

    Who f()ckn cares?.He grew up n he died wahhhhhh

    July 28, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. 66Biker

    And don't forget, Justin Bieber is ignorant. He can't carry a tune in a bag, either...

    July 28, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. jimbo

    Too bad he was a christian. He is in for a surprise when he finds out there is nothing after death.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lane

    I'm such a huge fan of the band, and know they'll miss him terribly. A real authentic musician who was part of a real band. He contributed so much to my fond summer memories growing up. I'm glad to hear too that he'd given his life to the Lord-He will welcome you in heaven, Dan!!

    July 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Andrea

    I love the music!!!! RIP Dan.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |


    July 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  18. arland schnacker

    this band was amazing . Modern singers of today could not carry this mans music sheets. This was when music was music and musicians were real musicians.

    July 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  19. CJ

    Trivia: Phil Hartman (actor shot by his wife) did the album cover for the History Album.

    July 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  20. CJ

    I can recall playing my 8-track and Album of America over and over and I still enjoy them some 30+ years later. Not too many "manufactured" musicians of today will be around in 30+ years. True artistry lives on....

    July 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  21. SmarterthanU


    July 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  22. JJ

    RIP & Thanks for the great music!

    July 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Randall

    Dave Peek, thanks for the musical journeys.... Farewell...

    July 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Doug V.

    I have several of their songs on my MP3, really enjoy their music. May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with his family.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  25. John

    America was one of the first Albums I ever bought. Sorry to read about Dan. Rest in peace Dan.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  26. AB

    I love America! I listen to their greatest hits CD in my car all the time. Goodbye Dan, you helped make great music.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Judy75201

    Guess he's going to find his Daisy Jane. Sorry he has died.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Romin63

    I feel like a part of my childhood and youth has died as well; I grew up in a Spanish-speaking country and America was mainly responsible for my early attempts to "sing in English." Their 1980's concert in Altos de Chavon, DR is one of my fave concerts ever. Godspeed Dan, and thank you, thank you, thank you.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Carey

    Rest in peace, Dan. You gave the world some beautiful music, and a lot of happiness. Two of my favorite songs of all times: Lonely People and Sister Golden Hair. Here's hoping there is a vintage guitar waiting for you in the next life with strings that never break.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Lukeskywalkr

    George Costanza: "Was he on his deathbed?"

    Jerry Seinfeld: "Nope. His regular bed."

    July 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • everyman

      Not so funny, luke. We lost one of the good guys. He had fame and fortune in rock and roll, but left it to pursue what he believed was a greater good. He decided faith to be of higher value than fame; something a LOT of people give lip-service to, but few actually do. As much as I enjoyed – an stll enjoy – his music, my greater respect is for who he became.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Lukeskywalkr

    Frankly, I'm not too wild about heavy metal music. America was pretty good. Especially Muskrat Love.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Judy

    RIP Dan – I grew up listening to America. My thoughts are with his family.

    On another note – Were any of you that come here just to make stupid, or what you think are funny comments, taught any respect or manners. I'm appalled to see some of the idiotic comments that have nothing to do with this man's legacy. You should be ashamed of yourself, but of course, I'm sure you're not. If the article doesn't interest you, why do you bother to comment?

    July 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  33. J

    Anyone see them in Denver at the RainbowMusic Hall? Nice, no gimmicks, no glitz.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Roofie

    Awful band, but I'm sorry to see anyone pass away. RIP.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polopoint

      Awful post, but I'd hate to see anyone in America not allow you to.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  35. FerdinandIX

    I do not care for rock music. However, I must admit...that I rather like this band.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  36. TXMarie

    All the Good Ones are Goin'... RIP

    July 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  37. LEE

    Ventura Highway will always be one of my favorite songs. RIP Dan.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  38. b. Slider

    I will sacrifice a lamb at my alter and listen to some Puddle of Mud tonight in his memory.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  39. George

    My fave was Horse With No Name– loves, loves, loves!

    July 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Cisco

    LOL ! I used to wear my zoot suit to the Parliment concerts. One night I was there and up on stage came this cool band called America. . . and BAM ! I mean BAM ! They got jiggy with it ! Even George Clinton came out on the stage and started jiving ! It was the greatest !

    July 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  41. RobbD

    Muskrat Suzie and Muskrat Sam are just devastated.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Scott

    I grew up with the America's music for which Mr. Peek was a huge part. I have been humming many of the unforgettable songs for most of my life. I am very sad to learn of the news of Mr. Peek's death. I hope he did not suffer and I know he left a lasting impression on the world with his musical talents. God bless him.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  43. sammy jones

    Love this picture! These three milfs are hot!!!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Esthel

    We saw them live when they opened for Parliment. I even wore my boogie suit to the show. The 70s were great times.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Ron M

    Terrible news for his fans. Terrific band and guitar player. He left his mark on the music world and those who enjoy America's music will always be grateful.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Rich_in_Jersey

    Wow, what a loss. America is one of my all time favorite bands. RIP Dan. I think I still have a couple of America 8 tracks.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Linda1955

    Graet music. May he rest in Peace. My condolences to his family and fans.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Andrea

    I grew up on this band, a favorite of my dad's. I am saddened to hear of his passing. Their music will live on.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Lamont

    Brings back memories of my dad Fred and Uncle Grady. We saw them perform at the legendary Apollo Theater back in the day. He did a duet with Gladys Night that was fantastic.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  50. alecia

    Thank you for the music! There will never be another sound like America again. RIP and tell your new bandmates in Rock and Roll heaven to play on!

    July 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Matt, San Diego

    Isn't "America" the band that did the theme songs for "The Last Unicorn"? LOL

    July 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Chrissie lou

    Loved his song DONKEY JAW – I turn it as loud as I can. Great music! So young...

    July 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  53. olive

    That guy with the beard is Danny DeVitos cousin.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  54. John K

    Dan has gone to the place where there ain't no one for to give you no pain.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  55. surprised

    Lots of memories from my childhood riding in the back seat of the car listening to America on the radio. As I was reading this I was sure that the comments section would be full of 'never heard of him/them', or 'who??', or tirades against religion because he was a born again. Plenty of idiots here, but no one doing what I expected.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Yolanda Weiner

    The one on the right looks like a "Breck Girl"

    July 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jps

      He is the one who died. You ought to be ashamed. Me too since I chuckled.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • everyman

      Read the caption. Surely, surely it was on oversight on your part. Go to and click on the five minute interview. Wow.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Lamont

    I remember seeing them perform on Soul Train in the early 70s. That was when America was touring with George Clinton and Parliment Funkadellic. They just blew me away. Ive neved heard music with such soul. He is going to be missed.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Music Man

    R.I.P., and thank you for some great music! 60's through 80's were the best era for rock/pop music.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Susan

    Why can't I post comments to all CNN stories without a login?

    July 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  60. JRYDAF

    "Co-founder of America dies." RIP Benjamin Franklin

    July 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Sherri

    Loved their music. It was the soundtrack of my life for many years. Thanks to Dan and the others for some great songs. My condolences to his family.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Matthew Jandecka

    It's uplifting to know Dans' spirit is in the presence of the Lord... now and forever! It's where I hope someday I'll be! RIP Dan

    July 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  63. chandahl

    i wunner if the is sangin up thars in hebbin rite now?

    July 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • iceandsnow3

      SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!! Are you trying to be funny? I can't believe I'm wasting my time replying to you.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  64. jackson

    Sister Golden Hair....a classic. Thank you America and RIP Dan. Now he's a member of one helluva band in heaven!

    July 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  65. LBW

    I loved that group. They were from an era when people sang love songs. That doesn't happen anymore.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  66. mitch

    Sorry for his loss, he is on the second part of his Journey,,,,

    July 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Jeffanie

    America was one of my first albums as a kid, and I played the grooves out of it! God Bless, Dan, and thanks for all you did to make this world a more beautiful place.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart

      That was one of my first albums too. Loved it front to back.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • musiclover

      Me, too. I love their music. Wish there had been more. Still have an album I can't even play. You left something lasting...RIP.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  68. TakeNoPrisoners

    Rest in peace Dan, these inbreds that are making these kind of remarks will be in tears one of these days when their 1/4 breed kin folks die. . I remember when Madeline Ohare was murdered, her killer said her last words were "oh God" funny since she was a atheist. Your time will come for you and yours and some dummy will say about the same things you are saying. I
    knew this guy at San Angelo Central high school and he was a better man than any of you...............

    July 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Madlyn Murray O'Hare

      The woman was hacked to pieces, and the guy who said he did it is dead. He never said she called out to God before or during the murder. There's no proof of that anywhere. It's an urban legend.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  69. hoofawted

    band had some great tunes, RIP

    July 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  70. BobZemko

    Thanks for all those great tunes in the 70s while I was growing up. Rest in peace !!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  71. twoshoes

    We are saved ! I just checked the GLEE website and they said he is still going to be able to perform on their show next season ! It is going to be g@ytastic !

    July 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Eric Hawk

    I thought a big part of the emotional impact that the movie, "The Last Unicorn" had on me was the soundtrack, performed by America.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Ditto. I love the soundtrack, have it on my iPod, and my 6 year old daughter loves watching the movie and singing along.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Evel Knievel

    I thought this was a story about the Bee Gees when I saw the picture.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  74. zingizback

    Very sad to hear this. Way too young. Just loved this guy! Especially enjoy watching him sing "Don't cross the river" on youtube. Very sad.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • wildbuck

      i am african american and i loved every song they produce throughout the 70's. they capture a whole generation of people,
      much love to Dan Peek. ride that highway in the sky mon. Max. Respect for America.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Will

    He gonna get as much attention at that other singer that died?
    guy won a grammy too...
    come on CNN.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  76. steve

    Actually, he spent most of his time in Farmington, MO a rural peacful community. I am from there and occasionally ran into him. A real genuine gentleman. RIP Dan

    July 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  77. John

    rest in peace Dan! your music will live on forever!

    July 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  78. ?

    That's too bad. I pray he went out "on a horse with no name". RIP

    July 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • KevininCanada

      I don't think so – he is a born again Christian. But I'm riding a horse with no name right now if that helps.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • elm

      The song "Horse with No Name" references his many male groupies.

      July 28, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  79. ted

    Thanks for the great music. RIP you did a great job!

    July 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Ken

    Very sorry to hear of Dan's passing. His family is in our prayers. God Bless~

    July 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |

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