Music producer Phil Ramone dies at age 79

Music producer and 14-time Grammy winner Phil Ramone died Saturday morning in New York City, his family confirmed to CNN.

The 79-year-old (Updated: Initial reports indicated he was 72) worked with some of the best-known artists of the past 50 years, including Madonna, Bob Dylan, Bono, Carly Simon, and Aretha Franklin. Many of Ramone’s collaborators released statements and took to Twitter on Saturday to pay their respects.

“Phil Ramone was a lovely person and a very gifted musician and producer,” said Tony Bennett in an official statement. “It was a joy to have him work with me in the recording studio on so many projects as he had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of music. Phil had the admiration and respect from everyone in the entertainment industry and his passing is a great loss.”

Glee star Matthew Morrison tweeted, “Today the music business and the world lost a music icon in Phil Ramone. I am honored that I had the opportunity to work with him on my forthcoming album, which I dedicate to him.” Bette Midler called him “a giant in the recording world,” and Josh Groban said Ramone “made music the right way.”

Ramone produced songs and soundtracks for films like Ghostbusters, Flashdance, and Midnight Cowboy. He also contributed to theater productions, including Chicago and The Wiz.

According to his official website, Ramone was a pioneer in audio technology and an early proponent of digital and fiber optic recording techniques.

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