NEW YORK - Dan Fogelberg, 56, the singer and songwriter whose hits "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne" helped define the soft-rock era, died yesterday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer.
His death was announced yesterday in a statement by Anna Loynes of the Solters & Digney public relations agency, and was also posted on the singer's website.
"Dan left us this morning at 6:00 a.m. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side," it read. "His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."
Mr. Fogelberg was found in 2004 to have advanced prostate cancer. In a statement then, he thanked fans for their support: "It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. . . . I thank you from the very depths of my heart."
Mr. Fogelberg's music was powerful in its simplicity. He didn't rely on the volume of his voice to convey his emotions; instead, they came through in the soft, tender delivery and his poignant lyrics. Songs like "Same Old Lang Syne" - in which a man reminisces after meeting an old girlfriend by chance during the holidays - became classics not only because of his performance, but for the engaging storyline, as well.