Phil Ramone Remembered by Billy Joel, Streisand, Stevie Wonder, More As ‘The Star of Stars Behind the Stars’

Phil Ramone with Billy Joel in 1986
Phil Ramone with Billy Joel in 1986

From Billboard:

Response to the news of the death of Phil Ramone was instantaneous on Saturday, as the Internet was filled with tributes and remembrances from his colleagues, collaborators and admirers, including Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Josh Groban and many more.

“I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Billy Joel, who worked with the producer on several albums, said. “So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him. I have lost a dear friend — and my greatest mentor.”

Barbra Streisand said in a statement: “I’m so saddened to learn of Phil’s passing. We first worked together in 1967 when I did a free concert in Central Park. His brilliance at capturing sound was immediately evident. Later we worked together on the film “A Star Is Born” where Phil was able to record me singing live, including ‘Evergreen.’ In the next decade we worked on the soundtrack to ‘Yentl’ and many other recordings. Phil had impeccable musical taste, great ears and the most gentle way of bringing out the best in all the artists he worked with. The monumental recordings he produced will endure for all time.”

Quincy Jones, Ramone’s longtime collaborator, said: “There aren’t enough words to express how heavy my heart is with the news of the passing of my dear friend and brother Phil Ramone. From Andy Williams and Lesley Gore, to Billy Eckstine, Paul Simon and all of my albums including ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ and ‘Q’s Jook Joint,’ Phil was a collaborator in the studio and a friend in life for more than 50 years. Whenever I was in the studio recording, if Phil wasn’t there by my side it would seem like one ingredient was missing. Today we lost one of the true musicians, innovators and geniuses of the record industry. His immense talents were only surpassed by the gigantic size of his heart, and I will miss him terribly.”

Stevie Wonder called Ramone “the star of stars behind the stars. What a great man, what a kind spirit, such an incredible producer. Truly a tragic loss for us on earth but what a wonderful blessing for heaven.”

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