The Cars’ Ric Ocasek Dead At 75

Ric Ocasek, the lead singer and founder of the legendary new wave band the Cars, died today at the age of 75. According to NBC 4 New York, police received a call around 4 PM for an unconscious male at a townhouse on East 19th. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Law enforcement sources later confirmed the man was Ocasek.

Ocasek released seven albums with the Cars from 1978 to 2011. He also released seven solo albums throughout his career and produced albums for Weezer, Bad Brains, Guided By Voices, and No Doubt, among others. The Cars were inducted into the Rock Hall last year.

UPDATE: Ocasek’s relatives have shared a pair of statements. One is credited to the whole family but seems to be written by his ex-wife, Paulina Porizkova. The other is credited to his sons and includes his final doodle.

Here’s the first statement:

Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery. Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together. I found him still asleep when I was delivering his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on. We appreciate the great outpouring of love. 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.

And here’s the note from Ocasek’s sons:

Our dad was a prolific doodler. His passing was sudden, unexpected, and beyond heartbreaking. Yesterday, we found this last doodle on his armchair. He couldn’t have known what it would end up meaning to us. We love him so much.

UPDATE 2: The Associated Press reports that the New York City medical examiner says Ric Ocasek died of heart disease, worsened by emphysema.