The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek died at the age of 75 on Sunday in New York City.
NBC reports that around 4 p.m. local time, police received a call of an unconscious male at his townhouse on East 19th Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined Ocasek died from hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Pulmonary emphysema was also a contributing factor, per Consequences of Sound.
“We appreciate the great outpouring of love,” the family said in a statement on Instagram. “We, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private.”
Ocasek and bassist Benjamin Orr were in a number of bands before moving to Boston and starting Milkwood. The album was a flop so they created a few more groups before finally settling on The Cars, made up of Ocasek, Orr, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson.
Between 1978 to 1988 the group was a breakout success, with Ocasek taking over as principal songwriter.
After The Cars broke up in the 1980s, Ocasek went on to have a successful career as a music producer including work with Weezer, The Cribs, No Doubt, The Wannadies and more.
Ocasek got back together with the surviving members of the group in 2010 to record their first album in 24 years, Move Like This.
The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, where they were described as “hook-savvy with the perfect combo of new wave and classic rock.”
The artist was married three times. His last marriage was to model Paulina Porizkova for 28 years, after first meeting on the set of the music video “Drive”. In 2018, Porizkova announced they had separated the year before. They share two sons, Jonathan, 25, and Oliver, 20.
Tributes are pouring in on social media for the late musician:
View this post on Instagram
The whole weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek, who passed away Sunday. Ric meant so much to us. He produced 3 key weezer albums, Blue, Green and 2014's "Everything…", and 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. Ric was so kind to us, and never faltered or changed a thing either professionally or personally in the 3 different decades we worked with him. When you were his friend, it was for life, and he was always as generous as could be with his time and care. He is the only producer to have worked with all 7 current and past weezer members, and all 7 love and loved working with him and hanging out with him. There is a massive hole in weezer's heart now. We will miss him forever, and will forever cherish the precious times we got to work and hang out with him. Rest in Peace and rock on Ric, we love you. #RIPRicOcasek #weezerfam #karlscorner
Brandon Flowers also posted an email he’d previously sent Ocasek, alongside the caption:
Stephen Colbert then paid tribute to the late star on Monday’s “Late Show”, explaining how he was the first star he saw when he moved to New York.