Phil Everly's Family Recall His Humble Life and Final Days

Before his death Friday at age 74 from complications due to COPD, Phil Everly was recording music, focusing on his family and was humble about the Everly Brothers’ legacy as rock and country legends, his widow and son tell PEOPLE.

Don Everly: I Loved My Brother Phil Very Much

Like most siblings, Don and Phil Everly had their differences from time to time, but underneath it all the hit-making duo loved each other.

As the music world reacted with sadness to the death of Phil, the younger member of the Everly Brothers on Friday at the age of 74, Don released a statement to PEOPLE that touched on their sometimes fiery relationship.

“I loved my brother very much,” Don, 76, said from his home in Tennessee. “I always thought I’d be the one to go first.”

Phil Everly Dies at 74

Phil Everly, the youngest of the Everly Brothers who took the high notes, died Friday from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74.

He left a towering legacy that still inspires half a century after the Everly Brothers’ first hit.