New York, NY (July 30, 2019) – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and recording artist Ric Ocasek, best known as lead vocalist, songwriter and rhythm guitarist of the pioneering post-punk and power-pop band The Cars, has signed with SESAC Performing Rights, it was announced today.
Ocasek has been a gifted songwriter and musician throughout his career as both a solo artist, and as a member of various groups—most prominently The Cars. During his time as a member and primary songwriter of The Cars, Ocasek penned enduring hits such as “Drive,” “Shake It Up,” “Good Times Roll,” “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Just What I Needed”. The Cars’ 1978 eponymous debut certified 6x Platinum, and from there, the band racked up 13 Billboard Top 40 singles (four of them Top Ten hits), across a string of six studio albums that sold more than 17 million records in the U.S. alone.
“As a multi-faceted artist, Ric continues to inspire with his creative influence and subtle bravado,” says John Josephson, Chairman and CEO, SESAC. “His remarkable career as songwriter and musician has made a significant impact on American music, and SESAC is proud to welcome Ric to our affiliate family.”
Ric Ocasek’s music still captures audiences today as his iconic songs are continuously used in popular films and television shows such as “Dead to Me,” “Stranger Things,” “Arrested Development” and many more. The use of The Cars’ “Moving In Stereo” (co-written by Ocasek and Greg Hawkes) in the classic film Fast Times At Ridgemont High has become a popular culture reference in its own right. Ocasek has influenced bands over the decades from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, who covered “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” as a b-side to their hit “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” to The Killers. Longtime fan Brandon Flowers of The Killers inducted The Cars into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, saying, “They achieved greatness and left a comet trail behind them, writing and recording songs that have transcended into classics…Forty years later they still sound like a new band to me.”
Ocasek continued to harness his unending talent for compelling and poetic songwriting with several successful solo albums, including Beatitude (1982), Fireball Zone (1990), Troublizing (1997) and Nexterday (2005). In addition, Ocasek has developed his career as an influential producer, working with a number of prominent acts, and producing seminal releases by such pioneering bands as Suicide and Bad Brains, as well as pop sensations like Weezer and No Doubt.
In 2010, Ocasek reunited with the surviving original members of The Cars, and in 2011 the band issued Move Like This, a studio album that proved to be a success for the epic group’s multi-generational fan base.
Most recently, the rock star has taken his visual art exhibition titled Ric Ocasek: Abstract Reality on the road with Wentworth Galleries, who have a network of art galleries in the United States.
SESAC is a leader and innovator in music licensing. It is the only U.S.-based music rights organization that administers public performance, mechanical, and other rights through its subsidiary businesses. SESAC Performing Rights Organization, the second oldest PRO in the U.S., drives efficiency in licensing for music users, and enhances value for its affiliated writers, publishers and composers by providing timely, efficient royalty distribution powered by a sophisticated cloud-based data services platform. The Harry Fox Agency is the leading provider of mechanical licenses, and issues the largest number of licenses for physical and digital formats of music in the U.S., and handles royalty payments to music publishers for over 100,000 catalogs. Rumblefish provides rights administration services and licensing support for a broad range of music users and media companies. Mint Digital Services, a joint venture with SUISA, administers copyrights for multi-territorial online usage on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers. SESAC Holdings has offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, London and Munich.