Ric Ocasek, Cars Singer Who Fused Pop and New Wave, Dead at 75

Ric Ocasek, the idiosyncratic singer and guitarist for the Cars and hit-making album producer, has died. He was 75.

At approximately 3 p.m. ET, police officers responded to a 911 call at 140 E. 19th Street, a rep for the New York Police Department told Rolling Stone. Officers discovered Ocasek unconscious and unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead at the scene. No cause of death has been revealed. A rep for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Beginning with the Cars self-titled debut in 1978, Ocasek established himself as a stoic frontman with a sense of humor and melodrama on songs like “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” and “Good Times Roll.” As a member of the Cars, Ocasek helped kickstart the new-wave movement by pinning his disaffected vocals against herky-jerky rhythm guitar, dense keyboards and dancefloor-ready beats, and as one of the group’s lead vocalists, alongside bassist Benjamin Orr, he sang the hits “Shake It Up” and “You Might Think.” With the exception of only a couple of songs, Ocasek wrote every tune the Cars recorded. After the band broke up in 1988, Ocasek recorded as a solo artist and worked as a producer, helping sculpt blockbuster hits like Weezer’s Blue Album and Green Album and cult favorites like Bad Brains’ Rock for Light.

This story is developing.

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