Ric Ocasek, the 75-year-old frontman, guitarist and songwriter for The Cars, died peacefully in his sleep while at home in New York City recovering from an unspecified surgery, his wife Paulina Porizkova said in a statement shared on social media on Monday.

The New York City medical examiner ruled he died of heart disease, worsened by emphysema, AP reports.

“Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery,” Porizkova said in the statement. “Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together. I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on.

“We appreciate the great outpouring of love. We, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private.”

Porizkova signed the statement: “From the Ocasek Family.”

New York City police received a call around 4 p.m. Sunday about an unconscious male, later identified as Ocasek, at a townhouse on East 19th Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.



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