Ric Ocasek of The Cars found dead at 75 | News Coverage from USA

Ric Ocasek of The Cars found dead at 75

Susan Haas and Kim Willis


Published 9:31 PM EDT Sep 15, 2019

Ric Ocasek, frontman and lead singer for new-wave icons The Cars, has been found dead in New York. 

New York Police Det. Martin Brown confirmed to USA TODAY that police were called to Ocasek’s residence around 4 p.m. EDT Sunday. “Upon arrival, police found a 75-year-old male unresponsive in bed,” Brown said. “He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Brown said a family member found Ocasek’s body. “It doesn’t appear criminal at this time.”

The band, famed for hits like “Drive” and “Just What I Needed,” broke through in 1978, and Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson and Benjamin Orr were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

The Cars split up in the late ’80s, then reunited in 2011 with much fanfare, after Ocasek found himself with a new batch of songs and a sense that they required company.

“Life is short,” he told USA TODAY at the time. “I knew it would be more interesting than if I got anybody else.”

“Every time I hear one of their songs, I’m reminded how fresh their sound still is,” Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis told USA TODAY in 2011. 

Ocasek and his wife of almost 30 years, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, split last year and have two sons together. The couple met when she starred in the video for 1984’s “Drive.”

“Our family has always been — and still is — a well-built car. When the four of us are together, we can go wherever the road takes us,” she wrote on Instagram in announcing their breakup in May 2018. “But as a bicycle, my husband and I no longer pedal in unison. So, we’re ditching the bicycle.” 

She added: “The photos of our happy family are, in fact, happy family photos; we are just no longer a couple. The love we have for one another is so wide and deep it’s practically intangible, and that sort of love can never disappear. Expect to keep seeing happy family photos.”

This story is developing.

Contributing: Elysa Gardner

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