"I have lost my best friend and the world has lost one of the greatest singers who ever lived," wrote bassist Pete Agnew.

Dan McCafferty, the original lead singer of Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, died on Tuesday, the band announced on social media. He was 76. 

"This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make," bassist Pete Agnew wrote on Instagram. "Maryann 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."

Agnew concluded, "Too upset to say anything more at this time."

Born William Daniel McCafferty, the hard rocking vocalist was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. In 1968, he formed the prolific rock band with members bassist Agnew, guitarist Manny Charlton, and drummer Darrell Sweet. 

The group, who cited inspirations from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, rose to prominence stateside with the release of their sixth studio album, titled Hair of the Dog. Its cover of the Everly Brothers' single "Love Hurts," which charted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976, went on to receive platinum certification in both the U.S. and U.K. 

Dan McCafferty of Nazareth performs on stage, Brighton, 1975.
Dan McCafferty, original lead singer of Nazareth, dies at 76
| Credit: Erica Echenberg/Redferns

McCafferty, who was known for his gritty vocals and dominating stage presence, announced his retirement from Nazareth due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2013. His 23rd and last album with the group, titled Rock 'n' Roll Telephone, was released the following year. He was replaced by lead vocalist Carl Sentance in 2015.

Outside of Nazareth, McCafferty also dabbled in his own solo musical endeavors and performed his own concerts throughout the years. He released his final album, titled Last Testament, in 2019. 

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