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The Cars' Ric Ocasek dies aged 75

The Cars' Ric Ocasek

Ric Ocasek, lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for The Cars, has died at the age of 75.

In a statement to the press, the New York Police Department said they received a call about “an unconscious male” at a townhouse on East 19th Street at 4pm on Sunday (15th September).

When emergency services arrived, Ric Ocasek was pronounced dead at the scene.

Born on 23rd March 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland, Ric Ocasek co-founded The Cars in the mid-seventies with school friend Benjamin Orr. 

One of the spearheads of the new wave movement, The Cars scored a string of hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s with their synthesizer-tinged rock sounds. 

Hit singles included ‘My Best Friend's Girl’ (which hit no.3 in the UK), ‘Shake It Up’ and ‘Good Times Roll’. 

Their 1984 ballad ‘Drive’ was re-released in 1985 after it was used to montage clips of the Ethiopian famine during the London leg of Live Aid. Proceeds of the re-released song reached £160,000, which went directly to the Band Aid Trust. 

After The Cars split in 1988 (they later briefly reformed twice), Ocasek continued to work as a highly successful producer and collaborated with a diverse array of bands including Weezer, Bad Brains, No Doubt and Bad Religion. 

Ocasek and The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018

The Cars’ last studio album, ‘Move Like This’, was released in 2011. It was their first and only released without bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr who died from pancreatic cancer in 2000. 

Ocasek is survived by his wife, the model Paulina Porizkova, and six sons. 

RIP Ric Ocasek.

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