Renowned producer and former Recording Academy Chair Phil Ramone died March 30. He was 79. Ramone had been hospitalized earlier this year in New York due to an aortic aneurysm, according to Billboard.biz, though an official cause of death has not been revealed.
A 14-time GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Trustees and Technical GRAMMY Award recipient, Ramone was a prolific and legendary producer, engineer and co-founder of A&R Recordings in New York. He collaborated with a diverse group of artists, including Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Etta James, Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, and Bruce Springsteen, among numerous others. His work with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon earned him three GRAMMY Awards for Album Of The Year for Genius Loves Company, 52nd Street and Still Crazy After All These Years, respectively. In 1980 he won the Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical) honor.
Ramone was also a dedicated member of The Recording Academy for several decades, having served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees, a Board member of the MusiCares Foundation, and Co-Chair of the Producers & Engineers Wing, and he most recently served on the P&E Wing's Advisory Council and as a Board member of the GRAMMY Museum.
"Our industry has lost an immense talent and a true visionary and genius, and The Academy has lost a very dear and close friend," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Everyone who encountered Phil came away a better person for it, professionally or personally."