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Phil Ramone, record producer to stars, dead at 79

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

Phil Ramone, the veteran record producer whose work with A-list artists including Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon made him one of the most respected figures in the music industry, died Saturday at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Billboard reported. He was 79.

Ramone was hospitalized last month following an aortic aneurysm.

Born in South Africa, Ramone studied classical violin at New York's Juilliard School before moving behind the board. His extensive credits include Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks," Billy Joel's "52nd Street" and Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," for which he shared the Grammy Award for album of the year. Throughout his career Ramone won 14 Grammys.

More recently he'd helmed "Just a Little Lovin'," Shelby Lynne's 2008 tribute to Dusty Springfield, and Tony Bennett's "Duets II" set from 2011. He also reteamed that year with Simon for the acclaimed "So Beautiful or So What." Ramone is also credited with a number of technical innovations, including helping to popularize the compact disc.

"Our industry has lost an immense talent and a true visionary and genius," Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said in a statement. "Everyone who encountered Phil came away a better person for it, professionally and personally."

Ramone is survived by his wife and three sons.

[For the record 1:42 p.m. March 30: An earlier version of this post reported Phil Ramone's age at his death as 72. He was 79.]


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