Ric Ocasek, The Cars Frontman, Dies at 75

Ocasek's songs melded elements of new-wave with classic rock influences, and left a huge mark on popular and rock music in the late 1970s and early 80s.
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Ric Ocasek performs with The Cars at the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Public Auditorium on April 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Ric Ocasek performs with The Cars at the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Public Auditorium on April 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Ric Ocasek, the lead singer and co-founder of iconic new-wave band The Cars, has died at the age of 75.

NBC New York 4 reported that police received a call regarding an unconscious male at a townhouse on East 19th Street in Manhattan Sunday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Law enforcement later confirmed that the man was Ocasek. 

Ocasek co-founded The Cars with his friend Benjamin Orr in 1976. The band - which melded elements of the then-ascendant new-wave genre with classic rock influences - found immediate success with their 1978 self-titled debut album, which contained smash hits like “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Just What I Needed.” 

Subsequent albums like 1979's Candy-O and 1981's Shake it Up would also go on to sell millions of copies each, producing hits like "Let's Go" and "Shake it Up." The Cars went on to disband in 1987, before reuniting in 2010 for a new album - 2011's Move Like This - and a North American tour. 

After falling into inactivity once again, the band reunited for a final time at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Ocasek also served as a producer for a number of artists - including Suicide, Bad Brains, The Cribs, Guided By Voices and Bad Religion - most notably manning the boards for Weezer's enormously popular self-titled 1994 debut album. 

Weezer were among the many artists who paid tribute to Ocasek on social media following the news, writing on Instagram "[Ocasek] taught all of us so much about music, recording and songcraft. But more importantly he taught us that one can be in a respected position of great power and yet be absolutely humble and have the biggest sweetest heart in the industry."

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