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NEW YORK ? Phil Ramone, the masterful Grammy Award-winning engineer, arranger and producer whose platinum touch included recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, has died at 79, his family said Saturday.

Ramone's son, Matt Ramone, confirmed the death. The family did not immediately release details of the death, but Matt Ramone said his father was "very loving and will be missed."

Few in the recording industry enjoyed a more spectacular and diverse career. Ramone won 14 competitive Grammy Awards and one for lifetime achievement. Worldwide sales for his projects topped 100 million. He was at ease with rock, jazz, swing and pop, working with Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Elton John and Tony Bennett, Madonna and Lou Reed.

One of the biggest names not to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ramone was on hand for such classic albums as The Band's "The Band" and Bob Dylan's "Blood On the Tracks." He produced three records that went on to win Grammys for album of the year -- Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," Joel's "52nd Street" and Charles' "Genius Loves Company."


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He was one of the greats. R.I.P.

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For some reason I thought of the Ramones punk band, then of Phil Spector. :s

Farewell Phil ...

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