LOS ANGELES — Dan Peek, a founder member of folk-rock band America -- who had a worldwide hit with the song "A Horse with No Name" -- has died at the age of 60, his former bandmates said Wednesday.

US-born Peek, who formed the Grammy-winning band with fellow musicians Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell after meeting in London in the late 60s, died in his sleep on Sunday, they said.

"I am so sorry to learn of Dan's passing," said Bunnell in a statement on the band's website, recalling how the three of them had a "joyous time, full of excitement and laughter" together.

The trio, who met at the London Central High School, shot to fame with the single "A Horse with No Name," taken from their self-titled debut album "America" released in 1971, according to their website.

They went on to make an album a year before Peek left the band in 1977 to pursue a solo career, influenced by his Christian faith, before going into semi-retirement in the Cayman Islands in the 1990s, with his wife Catherine.

Peek wrote an autobiography, "An American Band: The America Story," focused on his time in the band and his own spiritual journey.

"We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined," said Bunnell.

"Although we eventually went our separate ways, his contributions to the music of 'America' have always been present and will last forever. This news brings great sadness," he added.

Beckley added: "Dan & his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all. My sincere condolences go out to Catherine and the entire Peek family. May he rest in peace."