Ric Ocasek, visionary frontman of The Cars, dead at 75 - GulfToday

Ric Ocasek, visionary frontman of The Cars, dead at 75

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US musician Ric Ocasek attends the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 Person Of The Year Gala.

Ric Ocasek, the frontman of synth-heavy new wave innovators The Cars, was found dead Sunday in New York, police said. He was 75 years old.

The New York Police Department told AFP they had received a call at approximately 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) for an unconscious male at a townhouse in Manhattan.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and the body was identified as Ocasek.

There were no signs of foul play, according to US media.

Under the leadership of the singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist, The Cars brought the quirky electronic effects of new wave to classically structured, synthesizer-heavy pop songs, generating a string of hits such as "You Might Think," "Shake It Up," and "Drive" in the 1980s.

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Ric Ocasek, from the Cars, performs during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in Cleveland.

'Powerful emotional force'

In 2011, the surviving members of The Cars -- Orr died in 2000 -- reunited and released their final album, "Move Like This," and briefly toured.

"Ben and I had a real cold war going that lasted about 23 years. I could never really figure out exactly why, but I think there was a lot of jealousy because I wrote the songs and I got a lot of attention," Ocasek told The New York Times Magazine in 2011, though he said the grudge had faded by the time Orr passed.

The performer married three times and had six sons. His third wife, model and actress Paulina Porizkova, had announced the pair's split on Instagram in 2018.

That year the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, Dire Straits, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

The group's polished hooks remained underpinned by moody, disaffected lyrics that gave their pop rock a jagged twist, and into his later years, Ocasek remained firmly committed to that vision.

Agence France-Presse