THE LEAD singer and frontman of The Cars, Ric Ocasek, has died.
Ocasek was found dead in a Manhattan apartment by New York City police officers responding to a 911 call at around 4pm on Sunday, September 15.
They found no sign of foul play. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland before moving with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, aged 16, Ocasek dropped out of college to pursue a career in music eventually forming The Cars in 1976.
Formed in Boston, the band were one of the leading lights of the 1970s new wave scene, with Ocasek the chief songwriter over the course of the band’s 12-year career.
Known for their synthesizer-orientated pop sound, the group enjoyed a string of notable hits including Just What I Needed, My Best Friend’s Girl, Shake It Up and Tonight She Comes.
Though Ocasek was lead vocalist on each of these tracks, he took a backseat on arguably the bands biggest hit, Drive, with bassist Benjamin Orr singing on the track, which remains a staple of adult-orientated rock radio and power ballad compilations the world over.
The song, which was written by Ocasek, featured heavily during Live Aid, where it was deployed as the background music for a series of montages depicting the famine unfolding in Ethiopia.
Its use saw Drive return to the UK charts, reaching no.4. The band donated all proceeds from the re-release to the Band Aid Trust.
Far and away The Cars’ biggest international hit, Drive also hit no.3 in the Irish singles chart, while the music video for the song is notable for the fact Ocasek met his future wife, model and actress Paulina Porizkova, while filming the promo.
Back in May 2018, the pair announced they had separated after 28 years of marriage.
Porizkova has yet to issue a statement following Ocasek’s sad passing.