Ric Ocasek, lead singer of ‘The Cars’ & former Clevelander, dies at 75

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NEW YORK —  Ric Ocasek, famed frontman for The Cars rock band, has been found dead in a Manhattan apartment.

The New York City police department said officers responding to a 911 call found the 75-year-old Ocasek at about 4 p.m. on Sunday. They said there was no sign of foul play and that the medical examiner was to determine a cause of death.

The Cars chart-topping hits in the late 1970s and 1980s included “Just What I Needed,” ”Shake It Up” and “Drive.”

Ocasek and his band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.  The Cars rose to fame with the release of their self-titled hit album in 1978, which included songs such as “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Just What I Needed.”

The Rock Hall described the band as “the ultimate New Wave dream machine: a hook-savvy super-charged quintet that fused 60s pop, 70s glam and avant-rock minimalism into a decade of dashboard-radio nirvana.”

The Cars had 13 “Top 40” singles before they broke up in the 1980s.

Ocasek lived in Cleveland as a teenager and graduated from Maple Heights High School.

In May of 2018, model and actress Paulina Porizkova announced on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage. The pair first met while filming the music video for “Drive.”

Editor’s Note: Some media outlets, including Page Six, originally reported Ocasek’s age as 70 years old.  The Associated Press reports he was 75 years old.

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