AceShowbiz - Ric Ocasek, the lead vocalist of the iconic new wave rock band The Cars, has passed away at 75 years old. The rocker, born Richard Theodore Otcasek, was found unconscious at his Gramercy Park apartment in Manhattan, New York by his estranged wife Paulina Porizkova on Sunday, September 15.
The NYPD confirms that they received a call for an unconscious male at his townhouse at around 4:14 P.M. He was reportedly found in his bed and was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services. Sources tell New York Post's Page Six that Ric appeared to have died from natural causes.
Tribute has since poured in on social media. Sports commentator Steve Mason remembered the late rocker on Twitter, "Ric Ocasek from the Cars passed away today. On my very first overnight shift as a DJ in 1984, 'You Might Think' was a gigantic hit. That's my memory of him. Hail fellow well met.."
Sirius XM radio host Orlando Alzugaray Jr simply wrote, "#RIPRicOcasek 75. #TheCars," along with a picture of Ric performing onstage. Radio and TV personality Mancow Muller posted, "My friend Ric Ocasek has died. The Cars." CNN host S.E. Cupp expressed her feelings with a crying emoji while sharing the sad news on Twitter.
The Cars and Ric's family have not released a statement on his passing.
Ric's band, which left a profound impact on music, was popular during the late 1970s and 1980s. They have 13 top-40 singles including "Just What I Needed", "Best Friend's Girl", "Let's Go", "Shake It Up", "You Might Think" and the ballad "Drive".
The band broke up in 1988. The band's bassist and singer Benjamin Orr died from pancreatic cancer in 2000. Meanwhile, guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes joined forces with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, The New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material.
The original surviving members reunited in 2010 to record a new album, "Move Like This", which was released in May 2011, followed by a short tour. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
His music career aside, Ric was married three times. After his first divorce, he married his second wife Suzanne Ocasek in 1971. Ric was still married to Suzanne when he met 18-year-old model Paulina Porizkova during filming of the music video for the Cars' song "Drive" in 1984. Ric and Paulina tied the knot on August 23, 1989. They had two sons, Jonathan Raven Otcasek, 25, and Oliver Otcasek, 20. In May 2018, Paulina announced she and Ric had "peacefully separated" a year earlier.