US producer Phil Ramone dies aged 79
Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra were among his production credits
Ramone, who was nicknamed the 'Pope of pop' by Billy Joel, who he produced many albums for, was known as a pioneer of digital recording and produced records for Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra among others.
According to Billboard, Ramone was hospitalised in late February with an aeortic aneurysm and died at the New York Presbyterian Hospital yesterday (March 30). Confirming his death, his son Matt Ramone said he was "very loving and will be missed".
Born in South Africa in 1941, Ramone was gifted musically from a young age and could play the violin and piano when he was three years old. He came to the US as a teenager to study violin at New York's Juliard School, before launching the A&R Recording studios in 1958.
Ramone had a prolific career and won 13 Grammys including ones for Album of The Year for Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years', Bill Joel's '52nd Street' and Ray Charles 'Genius Loves Company'. He was session engineer on Bob Dylan's 'Blood On The Tracks', and produced Frank Sinatra's 1993 comeback album, 'Duets', and a further six Bill Joel records. Most recently, he worked with Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart, Joss Stone and Lela Hathaway.
Along with his son Matt, Ramone is survived by wife Karen and sons BJ and Simon.