Thursday 24 October 2019

Tributes pour in after The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek found dead in Manhattan apartment

Ric Ocasek of The Cars has died (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Ric Ocasek of The Cars has died (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Sherna Noah

Tributes have been paid to The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek after he was found dead in a Manhattan apartment.

Rock band The Cars were known for chart-topping hits in the late 1970s and 1980s including radio favourite Drive, Just What I Needed and Shake It Up.

The 75-year-old, who also had success as a solo artist and producer, was found dead at around 4pm on Sunday after New York City police officers responded to a 911 call.

A medical examiner has yet to determine a cause of death, but police said there was no sign of foul play.

The music world paid tribute after news of the US singer's death broke.

Canadian star Bryan Adams wrote: "RIP Ric Ocasek. Great songwriter and singer for the Cars #RIPRicOcasek"

Ric Ocasek, from The Cars, performs during his band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony (David Richard/AP)
Ric Ocasek, from The Cars, performs during his band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony (David Richard/AP)

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, real name Michael Balzary, wrote on Instagram: "Ahh man, say it ain't so. I loved Ric Ocasek.

"What an interesting, smart, kind, funny man who made incredible records. I loved those Cars albums when I was a teenager.

"Perfect pop songs with those wicked Elliot Easton guitar solos. Absolute candy.

"Then he went and produced Rock For Light by the Bad Brains. As an adult I met him several times and he was gracious, funny and engaging. Ahh man.

"Ahh damn. Bless his soul. R.I.P. Transcend to the other side Ric. So much love and appreciation from me. You're All I Got Tonight."

English punk rocker Billy Idol wrote: "Sorry to hear about Ric Ocasek RIP. Loved his work with the band"

Canadian musician Carl Newman said: "I will never stop imitating the first Cars album.

"His influence will always stay with me. RIP and Thank You to Ric Ocasek."

In May last year, model and actress Paulina Porizkova announced on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage.

The pair first met while filming the music video for Drive.

2018 also saw the band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Cars helped kick-start the pop-oriented new wave movement of the late 1970s and 80s.

Part of that burgeoning music scene, the band formed in 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The group consisted of singer-songwriter Ocasek, bassist and singer Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson.

Their other hits included My Best Friend's Girl and Good Times Roll.

Famously, their plaintive 1984 ballad Drive soundtracked footage of the Ethiopian famine, and was re-released as a single after Live Aid helped raise money for the cause.

PA Media

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