Ric Ocasek, the lead singer of The Cars, was found dead in a New York apartment on Sunday, an NYPD official told The Daily Beast. He was 75. According to the New York City Medical Examiner, his cause of death was “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” or heart disease. “Pulmonary emphysema,” or lung disease, was also a contributing factor.
Police received a call about an unresponsive male in a townhouse on East 19th Street from a woman who told police she is Ocasek’s wife. Ocasek had separated from his wife of 28 years, model Paulina Porizkova, in May 2018. Responding medics pronounced Ocasek dead at the scene shortly after 4 p.m., the official said.
Ocasek and The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The band had 13 Top 40 singles, including “Just What I Needed” and “My Best Friend’s Girl,” before breaking up in the late 1980s. Later in his career, Ocasek produced the first two albums by Weezer, including the highly regarded one known as the Blue Album. Weezer paid tribute to their “friend and mentor” late Sunday on Twitter: “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.”