NEW YORK – Ric Ocasek, an iconic figure in the history of American music, died on Sunday in his New York City apartment at the age of 75. According to a report picked up by Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! Music, Ocasek's cause of death was cardiovascular disease. But the story still came as such a shock because of how no one knew that Ocasek was ill.
Ocasek was continuing to build on his esteemed legacy with new songs. He was also adding paintings, poems, and books to his artistic output. Just last year, Ocasek embarked on a national tour that showcased his artwork.
Of course, Ocasek will always be best remembered for his role in founding the iconic back band, The Cars. In addition to being the lead singer of The Cars, Ocasek was also a songwriter and guitar player for the group, which made a massive impact on the music industry by bridging the gap between punk rock and new wave music. Their songs never pandered to either genre and they instead harmoniously blended to bring both auras of tune to commercial and critical success, as well as frequent radio airtime.
Ocasek met a bass guitar played named Benjamin Orr while living in Cleveland, Ohio, but the two eventually moved to Boston, Massachusetts during the 1970s to further develop the band they were forming. In Boston, they also met future members of The Cars, including Greg Hawkes and David Robinson. Officially becoming The Cars in 1976, the group, led by Ocasek, was finally ready to shake off the bands that were non-starters in Boston in the years prior to that.
Throughout his career, Ocasek recorded seven solo albums and seven albums with The Cars, the most recent of the latter coming in 2011. The Cars were an iconic band that received an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, on the heels of many of their most famous songs, including "My Best Friend's Girl," "Drive," "You Might Think," and "Just What I Needed."
Between Eddie Money's passing on September 13, and Ocasek's death over the weekend, it has been a sad time for music.