One of the pioneers of punk-pop in the ’80s has died, as Ric Ocasek of The Cars passed away on Sunday afternoon.
There is no word on the cause of death and various reports make his age unknown as well, as he was either 70 or 75.
Who is Ric Ocasek?
Fans of ’80s rock know Ric Ocasek well. He was the frontman of the band The Cars. The good news is that before he died, Ocasek saw his band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Cars started performing in 1978 and worked together until 1987. They had several hit songs through the years including “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Good Times Roll,” “Shake It Up,” and “Drive.”
They had four top 10 songs on the mainstream Billboard charts, including “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think,” “Drive” and “Tonight She Comes.”
The band’s self-titled debut album was certified six-times platinum and five of their seven albums were top 10 hits with the other two charting no lower than 26th.
Candy-O was four-times platinum, Shake it Up was double platinum, Heartbeat City was four-times platinum, and Panorama hit platinum status. They reunited in 2011 for their final album, Move Like This.
Through their time together, The Cars sold over 23 million albums, with their debut album selling over six million units alone.
Ric Ocasek also released seven solo albums, the last coming out in 2005. His top solo hit came in 1986 with “Emotion in Motion,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard US Rock Chart.
Ric Ocasek tributes
Following the announcement of his death, several contemporaries and musicians and celebrities who were influenced by Ric Ocasek sent their well-wishes.
These tributes included one from Weezer. This was a big one, as Weezer bassist Scott Shriner played bass for The Cars at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek, who passed away Sunday. We will miss him forever, & will forever cherish the precious times we got to work and hang out with him. Rest in Peace & rock on Ric, we love you. #RIPRicOcasek #karlscorner pic.twitter.com/JcTXevr6V8
— weezer (@Weezer) September 16, 2019
Don’t care what kind of music you are into, impossible to not like and appreciate @thecarsband songs. Debut album pretty much perfect. Incredible amount of great songs written by #ricocasek , not to mention his production work. #RIPRicOcasek
— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) September 16, 2019
RIP #RicOcasek 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. Suicide was one of several outside bands he produced: https://t.co/9Xlu2kQFRR
— Kurt Loder (@kurt_loder) September 16, 2019
“It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, as long as it was deep.” There’s a #ricocasek lyric for you.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) September 16, 2019
In the late 70’s, in between my obsessions for Kiss, the Ramones, The Clash & The Sex Pistols, I also was a big fan of The Pretenders, the B-52’s, the Police, Devo & The Cars…the 1st two albums are classics from start to finish. Sad to hear of Ric Ocasek’s passing #RIPRicOcasek pic.twitter.com/mlIBnVVL80
— Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) September 16, 2019
Aw, man. RIP #ricocasek and thank you for the songs on “Heartbeat City” alone. You were a true original.
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) September 16, 2019
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) September 16, 2019
I’m stunned and saddened by the loss of Ric Ocasek – he was a visionary who affected the lives and hearts of everyone who listened to music in the 80s. God Speed, Ric! Keep Moving in Stereo!
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) September 16, 2019
Ric Ocasek had six sons, two from each of his three marriages.