Phil Ramone dies: 'The Pope of Pop' music was 72

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Phil Ramone, music writer and producer dubbed "The Pope of Pop," has passed away at the age of 72. THR reports Ramone suffered an aortic aneurism and was hospitalized in late February. He dies Satruday morning (March 30) at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Ramone is a 14-time Grammy winner and 33-time nominee. He contributed to many classic albums by artists such as Elton John,  Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Frank Sinatra. After playing violin for Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 10, Ramone, a native of South Africa, went on to attend the infamous Juilliard School as a teen.

As a young songwriter in New York, Ramone spent his early career working with such legendary artists as Quincy Jones and Burt Bacharach. He then went on to start his own recording studio, and eventually produce Grammy-winning records for artists including Paul Simon ("Still Crazy After All These Years") and Ray Charles ("Genius Loves Company"). 

Some of Ramone's most notable recordings are Lesley Gore's 1963 hit, "I'll Cry If I Want To," Marilyn Monroe's presidential "Happy Birthday To You," and Sinatra's "Duets."
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