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New wave rock band The Cars' most memorable moments

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The Cars were an American rock band that originated in Boston. They became hugely popular in the late 1970s and 80s.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 5:00 AM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 5:00 AM

Ric Ocasek's death Sunday sent shockwaves throughout the music industry.

Ocasek and The Cars, the rock band he fronted, made history and left a lasting mark on popular music and culture with a string of hits.

Here's a quick guide to The Cars:

The Cars were a new wave rock band

The band got its start in Boston in the late 1970s. One of its earliest hits,"Just What I Needed," took over two radio stations there, picking up the attention of record companies. Soon, the band was an MTV mainstay, sending catchy tunes into homes across America.

The band -- lead singer Ocasek; bassist and singer Benjamin Orr; drummer David Robinson; keyboardist Greg Hawkes and guitarist Elliot Easton -- became one of the first groups to bring new wave rock to a mainstream audience.

They won the first ever MTV Video of the Year award

The Cars have a place in MTV history.

The band won the first-ever Video of the Year award in 1984 for their hit "You Might Think," according the their website.

And the band's video for "Double Life" was the 21st video ever played on the new cable channel, according to VH1.

They ruled the Billboard charts

The band's self-titled debut album landed in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and produced two top 40 singles, according to Billboard.

One of The Cars' best known songs, "Shake It Up," from a later album, spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

And the band's song "Drive" peaked at No. 3 on the charts in September 1984.

They pursued solo careers after breaking up

The band broke up in 1988, and several of the members pursued solo careers.

Ocasek went on to produce albums for Weezer, including the rock band's 1994 self-titled debut album, according to the online music magazine Pitchfork.

They're in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The band, which also counts "Let's Go" and "Magic" among its hits, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

"(T)he Cars were the ultimate New Wave dream machine: a hook-savvy super-charged quintet that fused 60s pop, 70s glam and avant-rock minimalism into a decade of dashboard-radio nirvana," the band's biography reads on the Hall of Fame website.

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