Don Everly has issued his first comments following Friday night's death of his brother and musical partner, Phil Everly -- and says he knew Phil was gone before anybody told him.

"I was listening to one of my favorite songs that Phil wrote and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got the news of his passing," Don told the Associated Press. "I took that as a special spiritual message from Phil saying goodbye."

He also quickly downplayed any notion that the famous infighting between the two brothers caused any true damage to their relationship: "Our love was and will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had. I loved my brother very much. ... I always thought I'd be the one to go first. The world might be mourning an Everly Brother, but I'm mourning my brother Phil Everly."

Meanwhile, musicians from around the world are paying their own tributes to Everly, with Queen guitarist Brian May issuing a lengthy remembrance on his official website. It reads in part: "I could probably write a book on the music of the fabulous Everly Brothers, but you'll find echoes of their influence in a lot of our old Queen songs, and perhaps that is the best tribute. ...I never met them. Wish I had. But they will always be my heroes. I don't think they will know who I am, but my heartfelt condolences to Phil's wife, his family and friends, and of course to Don. I can't imagine how that must be. So hard, So sad. RIP Phil Everly … you were magic. I have tears in my eyes."

Other classic rockers offered their own tributes via their official Facebook and Twitter pages:

"It is with great sadness that I just learned music legend Phil Everly has passed away. Since joining his Cleartone String Company, one of the things I looked forward to most was meeting him." -- Dave Mustaine, Megadeth

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