The Cars frontman and iconic New Wave figure, Ric Ocasek, has passed away

Ric Ocasek, singer and guitarist of the influential American rock band The Cars, and beloved record producer, has passed away aged 75.

A series of tributes have been posted for the musician, who had been recovering from surgery at the time of his passing. The official cause of death has been listed as heart disease.

Ric Ocasek, The Cars

Ric Ocasek, influential frontman of The Cars, beloved record producer, and influential figure in the ’70s and ’80s New Wave scene, has passed away.

His family issued a statement that although his death was sudden, he had passed peacefully during the night. Ocasek had been a prolific doodler and his sons shared a photo of what had been his last doodle, writing:

“He couldn’t have known what it would end up meaning to us. We love him so much.”

Ocasek helped define the New Wave movement in the late ’70s and early ’80s with his combination of distinctive vocals, guitars, synths, and dance floor beats. He was frontman of The Cars, writing almost all of the band’s songs and singing on hits like Shake It Up and You Might Think. 

After the band broke up, Ocasek established himself as an influential producer, working on Weezer’s Blue and Green albums, as well as Bad Brains’ Rock for Light, and numerous albums by Suicide.

A series of musicians have posted tributes to Ocasek including Weezer, Billy Corgan, Courtney Love, Billy Idol, Brandon Flowers, and many others.

“Ric meant so much to us,” Weezer posted. “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.” 

Listen to Drive by The Cars below: