Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ric Ocasek died in his sleep on September 15 in his Manhattan, New York home at the age of 75.

Ocasek was the lead singer, guitar player, and major songwriter for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band The Cars. He and Benjamin Orr formed the band in Boston in 1976.

The Cars broke up in 1988; but reunited for a tour in 2011. Ocasek went on to produce albums for newer bands including Bad Brains, Guided By Voices, Weezer, Romeo Void, and No Doubt. He was an executive with Elektra Records.

Prior to forming The Cars, Ocasek and Orr had bands called ID Nirvana and Milkwood.

He was born Richard Theodore Otcasek on March 23, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rick began playing guitar and writing songs when he was 10 years old. The family moved to Cleveland when Rick was a teen which is where he met his future band mate Ben Orr.

Married and divorced two times, Ocasek was separated from his third wife. He is survived by his six sons – Jonathan, Oliver, Derek, Eron, Christopher, and Adam.
feature photo credit: By Adanne Osefo –, CC BY 2.0,