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Legendary Music Producer Phil Ramone Dies

Phil Ramone dead
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

It’s a dark day for music lovers everywhere.

Legendary producer Phil Ramone passed away at 72 years old yesterday (March 30).

Ramone had been hospitalized since February for an aortic aneurysm. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and sons BJ, Matt and Simon.

Ramone worked with everyone from Madonna, Bono, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra to Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder. He’s also credited with popularizing CDs (‘member those?) and was the first producer to use digital recording (for Joel’s ‘Songs in the Attic’ album).

Not only a technical innovator, Ramone is also credited with some of the most memorable soundtracks ever, including ‘Flashdance,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Ghostbusters.’

“This is so shocking,” collaborator and friend Franklin said in a statement. “I just performed for his tribute in December. Truly one of the great names in music has gone on, but the melodies will remain.”

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, also reflected on the loss.

“Our industry has lost an immense talent and a true visionary and genius.”

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