Eric Carmen, frontman of the Raspberries and soft rock 'All By Myself' singer, dies at 74

Eric Carmen, the Cleveland rocker who pioneered power pop as the lead singer of the Raspberries and later found solo success with such soft rock standards as “All By Myself” and “Hungry Eyes,” has died at the age of 74.

His death was announced by his family on his official website. His widow Amy Carmen wrote, “It is with tremendous sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of Eric Carmen. Our sweet, loving and talented Eric passed away in this sleep over the weekend.” The family did not disclose a cause of death or a specific date of death.

Carmen’s first brush with fame arrived in 1972, the year the Raspberries took “Go All the Way” all the way to five on the Billboard Hot 100. Melding the heavy riffs of the Who with the candied harmonies of the Beach Boys, “Go All the Way” created the blueprint for the style that became known as power pop: the sweet melodies were given heft by the crunching guitars.

Generations of rockers would strive to replicate the sugared hard rock of the Raspberries but Carmen wound up softening his attack after he parted ways with the group. “All By Myself,” the languid ballad that launched his solo career, almost topped the Billboard charts in 1976 and became a pop perennial, covered by everyone from Celine Dion to Halk Williams Jr.

During the decade that followed “All By Myself,” Carmen remained a staple on adult contemporary and album rock radio, finally achieving another smash when “Hungry Eyes,” his contribution to the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack, reached number four in 1988, followed swiftly to the upper reaches of the charts that year by “Make Me Lose Control.” It may have been Carmen’s last run of hits but it cemented his status as a pop craftsman, enabling him to play a dedicated audience into the 2010s.

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