Kenny Edwards, a founding member of the Stone Poneys country-rock band that launched Linda Ronstadt’s career and a valued supporting guitarist and singer for Stevie Nicks, Don Henley and numerous others, died Wednesday after battling cancer and a blood disorder in recent years. He was 64.

Edwards had collapsed earlier this month in Denver while on tour with singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff, a longtime musical partner.

He was hospitalized in Denver, then air-lifted to a hospital near his home in Santa Barbara, where he died.

“He was always a beacon to me,” Ronstadt said Thursday. “He introduced me to so much stuff, and his opinion always counted a lot to me.”

She credited Edwards with creating the musical framework for her only No. 1 single, “You’re No Good,” in 1974.

Later, Edwards teamed with singer-songwriter Wendy Waldman, Karla Bonoff and Andrew Gold to form the folk-rock band Bryndle.

Barely out of high school, he formed the Stone Poneys in 1965 with Bobby Kimmel, a Tucson musician who had moved to Los Angeles to explore the burgeoning folk-rock scene.