31 Mar 2013

Music producer Phil Ramone dies

9:55 am on 31 March 2013

American music producer and pioneer of digital recording Phil Ramone has died at the age of 72.

Ramone is regarded as one of the most successful producers in history, winning 14 Grammy awards and working with stars such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Paul McCartney.

He produced the first major commercial release on CD, Billy Joel's 1982 album 52nd Street, the BBC reports.

Some of his awards were for soundtracks to television shows, films and stage plays.

A native of South Africa, Ramone learnt the violin at the age of three and became a US citizen at the age of 12. He had opened his own recording studio before he was 20.

He produced three records that won Grammys for album of the year - Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years in 1976, 52nd Street and Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company in 2005.

Ramone also won Grammys for soundtracks to Flashdance, the Broadway musical Promises, Promises, and an Emmy for a TV special about jazz great Duke Ellington.

He was known for bringing artists together for duets, producing efforts by Frank Sinatra and Bono, and Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney among others.

Confirming his death, his son Matt Ramone said he was "very loving and will be missed".