Eric Carmen Dead at 74

( – Music legend Eric Carmen has passed away. The singer and songwriter, who headed the popular 1970s band The Raspberries before moving on to a successful solo career, made a name for himself with hits that included “Go All the Way” and “Hungry Eyes.” He died at the age of 74.

The details of the musician’s death remain scarce. His wife, Amy Carmen, posted on the homepage of his website that he died at home in his sleep. She noted the “lasting legacy” the performer was happy to leave behind and stated that he had felt “great joy” in knowing his music affected so many people over the decades.

Carmen’s biography shares that he was born the same year as Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel (1949). His earliest influences were Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, and other classic composers — and like other members of his family, he was an early prodigy. At the tender age of 2 1/2 years old, the musician was attending the Cleveland Institute of Music. Carmen began studying classical piano at age 11, and he was writing his own songs by the time he was 12.

Carmen continued his classical training until he was about 15 1/2, ending it abruptly when he discovered the Beatles. He noted his world changing after he went to see the band’s movie, “A Hard Day’s Night.” He immediately switched to guitar, teaching himself to play, and bounced between bands for a few years before teaming up with the other members of The Raspberries.

The band, with its charming melodies and use of power chords, stood out in the sea of 1970s prog rock. Singles “Go All The Way” and “I Wanna Be With You” became instant hits, but the band buckled amid its success. Carmen continued pursuing music in a solo career, recording several successful albums. He went on to write “Almost Paradise” for the original “Footloose” film and “Hungry Eyes” for “Dirty Dancing,” both of which gave the musician even more acclaim.

In 2000, decades after first discovering the Beatles and pursuing his own brand of rock and roll, Carmen had the honor of playing as a member of Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band.

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