Phil Ramone, an acclaimed music producer, died on Saturday morning, March 30 at the age of 79 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Matt Ramone, Phil's son who confirmed the death, didn't state the cause of death, but Phil was hospitalized with an aortic aneurysm in late February. Musicians like Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney have reacted to the sad news.
"I'm so saddened to learn of Phil's passing." Barbra said in a statement. She recalled working with Phil when she did a free concert in Central Park in 1967. They also worked together in 1976's film "A Star Is Born", and did several other recordings including the soundtrack to "Yenti". "Phil had impeccable musical taste, great ears and the most gentle way of bringing out the best in all the artists he worked with. The monumental recordings he produced will endure for all time," Barbra added.
Calling Phil "the star of stars behind the stars," Stevie said of the producers' death, "What a great man, what a kind spirit, such an incredible producer. Truly a tragic loss for us on earth but what a wonderful blessing for heaven."
"Phil was a great friend of mine for many years," Paul said through his representative. "He was a very sweet man who combined this with expert knowledge of both engineering and production. I'll always remember him as a great friend that I knew, loved and admired over the many years that we worked and played together"
"I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band," Billy Joel, who worked with the producer on his some albums, said. "So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him. I have lost a dear friend -and my greatest mentor."
Many people also took to Twitter to express their sadness. "Sending prayers &good thoughts 2the loved ones of our dear friend & colleague, the unequaled,Phil Ramone. RIP,friend,we will miss u always!" Gloria Estefan tweeted, followed by John Legend who wrote, "RIP Phil Ramone. Legendary producer. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to work with him."
Born as a South African, Phil became a U.S. citizen at 12. He began learning music at 3 and performed as a violinist for Queen Elizabeth II. When he was 24, he opened his own recording studio in Manhattan, New York. Throughout his career, Phil won 14 Grammys for his work producing music for iconic musicians and he received a Technical Grammy for a lifetime of innovative contributions to the recording industry in 2005.