PREVIOUSLY, September 15: Ric Ocasek, the spindly frontman of the Cars who was inducted last year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his New Wave bandmates, is dead, according to authorities in New York City. He was 75.
Ocasek was found dead about 4 PM ET in his Manhattan apartment by officers who were responding to a 911 call, according to the NYPD. No indications of foul play were found at the scene, police said, and further details were pending an investigation by the medical examiner’s office.
Ocasek was the primary songwriter and co-founded the hit-making band in 1976 in Boston with bassist Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000. The band made their mark in the 1970s with high-polish, hook-ready hits such as “Good Times Roll,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Just What I Needed,” “It’s All I Can Do” and “Let’s Go.”
The band’s string of hits in the 1980s — “Since You’re Gone,” “Shake It Up” and “Magic” — were propelled up the charts by a series of music videos that made the lanky Ocasek an unlikely and eccentric star of the MTV era.
The hit “Drive” was an exception: It was sung by Orr — but it’s also the music video shoot where Ocasek met model Paulina Porizkova. The pair’s marriage ended in 2018 after 28 years.
After the Cars split in 1988, Ocasek’s studio prowess led to a career as an in-demand producer and work with next-generation notables such as No Doubt, Weezer and Bad Religion. Ocasek has six sons, two by each of his three marriages.
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