RIP Eric Carmen

Singer-songwriter Eric Carmen, known for hit song All By Myself, has died aged 74, his wife has announced. The US star rose to fame with the power pop group the Raspberries before establishing himself as a solo artist. From a family of Russian Jewish immigrants, Carmen was born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, and grew up in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He was involved with music since early childhood. He took violin and piano lessons as a child and the arrival of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones influenced him to become a musician.

Though classically trained in piano, Carmen became a self-taught guitarist. At 15, he started guitar lessons, but when his teacher’s approach did not fit with what he wanted, he decided to teach himself. He joined a band named Cyrus Erie, which recorded several commercially unsuccessful singles for¬†Epic Records. In the 70s when his old band broke up, some of the members formed the Raspberries & Carmen was the lead singer of the group, and wrote or co-wrote all their hit songs. In 1975, after the breakup of the Raspberries, he started his solo career, de-emphasizing harder rock elements in favor of¬†soft rock¬†and power ballads.

Hungry Eyes, one of his huge solo hits, featured in 1987 cult movie classic Dirty Dancing. Among the solo tracks he is most well-known for is All By Myself, which later became one of Canadian singer Celine Dion’s most iconic hits when she covered it. The song also featured in the opening scene of Bridget Jones’s Diary. As a songwriter, Carmen had hits including Almost Paradise from the Footloose soundtrack, as well as Never Gonna Fall In Love Again and Make Me Lose Control.

Carmen married three times; first to Marcy Hill (October 31, 1978 ‚Äď August 3, 1979, divorced). He shared two children, Kathryn and Clayton with second wife Susan Brown (May 22, 1993 ‚Äď 2009, divorced). He was survived by his third wife, former newscaster Amy Murphy, whom he married in 2016. Carmen moved from Los Angeles back to¬†Gates Mills in northeast Ohio in the 1990s.

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