‘Awful news’: Beloved singer Eric Carmen dies aged 74

American singer Eric Carmen, the lead vocalist of the Raspberries, has died aged 74.

He made the charts with his emotional 1975 hit All by Myself, which was notably covered by Celine Dion, as well as Never Gonna Fall in Love Again and She Did It.

He was also famous for his song Hungry Eyes, which featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of Eric Carmen,” his wife Amy Carmen posted on his website.

“Our sweet, loving and talented Eric passed away in his sleep, over the weekend. It brought him great joy to know, that for decades, his music touched so many and will be his lasting legacy.

“Please respect the family’s privacy as we mourn our enormous loss.”

She concluded with a quote: “Love Is All That Matters…Faithful and Forever”.

His cause of death has not been made public.

Born to a family of Russian-Jewish immigrants in Cleveland Ohio, he started singing “before most kids could talk”, and his parents quickly enrolled him into the Cleveland Institute of Music, according to his biography.

Eric Carmen said he was influenced by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Hoagy Carmichael.

A viewing of the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night put him on the path to learning the guitar.

He joined the Raspberries in 1967, a rock and roll band that was heavily influenced by the UK scene, however tensions led to a break-up in 1975.

Carmen later went solo and released the hit All by Myself in 1975.

The bandmates reunited recently and quickly sold out their shows.

“A couple of years ago my old band was approached to open the new House Of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio,” he wrote.

“The Raspberries hadn’t played together in over thirty years, but I’ve always liked a good challenge. We rehearsed the band, sold out the show in four minutes, and blew the roof off the place. We decided to play a couple more dates, and that turned into ten.”

Tributes to the star flooded social media.

“The loss of Eric Carmen really hurts. The Raspberries were the best power pop group ever. Ecstasy was my favourite,” writer Stephen King posted.

Musician Paul Stanley wrote: “Awful News. Eric Carmen has died. Although known to many for writing radio hits like All By Myself and others, Eric was a true rocker at heart. His voice had elements of McCartney and Steve Marriott. The Raspberries did shows with us. A killer band live & I loved their records.”

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