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Ric Ocasek, frontman and guitarist of The Cars, dies at 75

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Ric Ocasek, frontman and co-founder of The Cars, has died at the age of 75, NBC New York 4 reports.

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

The Cars - who Ocasek co-founded with Benjamin Orr in 1976 - first came to prominence with their self-titled, 1978 debut album. Featuring massive hits My Best Friend’s Girl, Just What I Needed and Good Times Roll, the album went 6x Platinum, and made the band a mainstay on rock radio and the charts.  

Though subsequent albums like 1979's Candy-O and 1984's Heartbeat City never quite matched up to the success of the band's debut, they did achieve multi-platinum sales, while producing hits like Let's Go and Drive.

The Cars broke up in 1987, but would go onto reunite in 2010 for a successful album - 2011's Move Like This - and North American tour. After disbanding once again, they would reunite one final time during their 2018 induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Ocasek also had a fruitful solo career, releasing seven albums under his own name, including 1997's Troubilizing, which was co-produced with Billy Corgan. 

Weezer - whose massively popular self-titled debut album was produced by Ocasek - 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."

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.