|Phil Ramone, Grammy Award-Winning Producer, Dies at 79|
|By ALEXIS SHAW (@ashaw109)||Mar 30, 2013, 2:39 PM|
Phil Ramone, the Grammy Award-winning music producer and engineer, died this morning at the age of 79.
Ramone's family did not immediately release the details of his death, but his son, Matt Ramone, who confirmed his death said his father was "very loving and will be missed," The Associated Press reported.
Ramone's range of work in the music industry spanned genres and many of the stars with whom he worked said his his talent was unmatched. He boasted an impressive resume that included work with musical greats like Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Tony Bennett.
During his career, he won a total of 14 Grammy Awards, including three for album of the year for his work on Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," Billy Joel's "52nd Street," and Ray Charles' "Genius Loves Company."
Ramone was also a leader in digital recording, and produced what is regarded as the first major commercial release on compact disc -- Joel's "52nd Street" -- in 1982.
"I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band. He was the guy that no one ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with -- longer than most," Billy Joel said in a statement to ABC News.
"So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him. I have lost a dear friend and my greatest mentor. The world lost a giant today," Joel said.
Ramone, who hailed from South Africa, was musically inclined from a very young age. He learned the violin at the age of 3 and trained at The Julliard School in New York. At 20, He opened his own recording studio, the Associated Press reported.
"Our industry has lost an immense talent and a true visionary and genius," Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy said in a prepared statement.
"Everyone who encountered Phil came away a better person for it, professionally or personally," Portnow said. "Our deepest condolences go out to his family, his friends, the musicians who had the benefit and privilege of working with him, and all who were inspired by his brilliant vision and work."