His death was announced Tuesday (June 7) by several people, including John Ford Coley, who had formed the ’70s duo England Dan and John Ford Coley with Seals’ older brother Dan. Further details were not immediately available.
“This is a hard one on so many levels as this is a musical era passing for me,” Coley wrote. “And it will never pass this way again as his song said. He belonged to a group that was one of a kind.”
Seals and Darrell George “Dash” Crofts were Texas natives who had known each other since they were teenagers and had previously been in the Champs, which before they joined had a hit single with “Tequila,” and a group including Glen Campbell. They started Seals and Crofts in the late 1960s and over the next several years were among a wave of soft-rock groups that included America, Bread and England Dan and John Ford Coley.
Seals and Crofts had three top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits: “Summer Breeze,” “Diamond Girl” and “Get Closer” (featuring Carolyn Willis). Their other popular songs included “Hummingbird,” “You’re the Love” and “We May Never Pass This Way Again.” Seals and Crofts also released the controversial “Unborn Child,” an anti-abortion song that came out the year after the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and was banned by some radio stations.
Seals and Crofts were also a major album act. Two of their albums made the top 10 on the Billboard 200 — Summer Breeze (No. 7 in December 1972) and Diamond Girl (No. 4 in August 1973). Summer Breeze went on to be the No. 2 album of the year on Billboard‘s chart recap for 1973 (behind only War’s The World Is a Ghetto).
They broke up in 1980 but reunited briefly in the early 1990s and again in 2004, when they released the album Traces. Seals also performed on occasion with his brother Dan, who died in 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Ruby, and their three children.