Ric Ocasek death: Lead singer of The Cars dies, aged 75

Ric Ocasek attends a Netflix event in June 2019: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Netflix
Ric Ocasek attends a Netflix event in June 2019: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Netflix

Ric Ocasek, frontman of new wave rock band The Cars, has been found dead in a Manhattan apartment. He was 75.

Ocasek was pronounced dead after police were alerted to an unresponsive male at the home. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed, though The Daily Beast reports that an NYPD official said Ocasek appeared to have died from “natural causes”.

Ocasek found fame as the lead singer of The Cars, who were integral in the birth of the new wave movement and had hits including “Drive”, “Good Times Roll” and “My Best Friend’s Girl”.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, seven years after reforming for a tour and what would be their final album. They had previously split in 1988.

Ocasek embarked on a solo career following the band’s split and additionally worked behind the scenes, producing tracks for bands including Weezer, Bad Religion, No Doubt and Le Tigre.

On Twitter, Weezer wrote: “The weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek, who passed away Sunday. 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.”

MTV presenter Kurt Loder wrote: “Cars were the first band I saw that qualified as new wave – their synths and leathers were too pricey for pure punk. Long gone, of course, and now Ric too, a sweet guy.”

On Instagram, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea paid tribute, writing: “Ahh man, say it ain’t so. I loved Ric Ocasek. What an interesting, smart, kind, funny man who made incredible records. I loved those Cars albums when I was a teenager. Perfect pop songs with those wicked Elliot Easton guitar solos. Absolute candy… As an adult I met him several times and he was gracious, funny and engaging. Ahh man. Ahh damn. Bless his soul. R.I.P. Transcend to the other side Ric. So much love and appreciation from me.”

Ocasek is survived by his wife Paulina Porizkova, who announced in 2018 that they had been separated for a year, along with six sons.