Eric Carmen, ‘All By Myself,’ ‘Hungry Eyes’ singer, dead at 74

Eric Carmen

Singer Eric Carmen, who was the frontman for the Raspberries in the early 1970s and then achieved bigger fame as a solo artist with hits like “All By Myself” and “Hungry Eyes,” died over the weekend, his wife said. He was 74.

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Carmen’s wife, Amy Murphy Carmen, posted the news of the singer’s death on his website, Variety reported.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of Eric Carmen,” Amy Carmen wrote. “Our sweet, loving and talented Eric passed away in his sleep, over the weekend. It brought him great joy to know, that for decades, his music touched so many and will be his lasting legacy. Please respect the family’s privacy as we mourn our enormous loss. ‘Love Is All That Matters… Faithful and Forever.’”

The latter quote Amy Carmen is a callback to the song “Love Is All That Matters,” from Eric Carmen’s 1977 solo album “Boats Against the Current,” according to Variety.

Carmen rose to fame with the Raspberries with their breakout hit, “Go All the Way,” according to Variety. The song’s lyrics were suggestive for 1972 and caused controversy, the entertainment news website reported.

During a 2005 interview with Classic Rock 81, Carmen reflected on the song’s lyrics, Rolling Stone reported.

“I always thought if it saw daylight, one of two things would happen,” Carmen said. “Either it’ll get banned because it’s dirty -- then maybe people will buy the album to check it out; or if it ever gets on the radio, I think it’ll just be a hit based on the title alone.”

As a solo artist, Carmen’s power ballad “All By Myself” was a worldwide hit, rising to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1976. The song would re-enter the top five in 1997 when Celine Dion covered the song and it peaked at No. 4, according to Billboard.

Carmen also hit the charts with “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again,” which peaked at No. 11 later in 1976, and “Hungry Eyes,” which soared to No. 4 in late 1987. The song was featured in the movie, “Dirty Dancing,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In 1988, Carmen cracked the top 10 again with “Make Me Lose Control,” which peaked at No. 3.

Carmen recorded four albums with the Raspberries from 1972 to 1974, according to Billboard. The band scored a top-five hit, “Go All the Way,” from their debut album in 1972, and peaked at No. 18 two years later with “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record),” the music website reported.

“Go All the Way” would be featured on the “Guardians of Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1″ soundtrack in 2014, Billboard reported.

Carmen also co-wrote “Almost Paradise … Love Theme from Footloose,” with Dean Pitchfield. The song was performed by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson for the “Footloose” soundtrack, according to Billboard.

The song earned him his only Grammy Award nomination for best album of original score written for a motion picture or a television special. “Almost Paradise” would later serve as the theme song to “The Bachelor” spin-off “Bachelor in Paradise” in 2014, according to Billboard.

Originally from Ohio, Carmen was born on Aug. 11, 1949, in Cleveland, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was influenced by the British Invasion bands of the 1960s, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks.

In 2000, Carmen joined Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band on tour, performing his biggest solo and Raspberries hits, Variety reported.

Paul Stanley of KISS tweeted that Carmen was “a true rocker at heart.”

“His voice had elements of McCartney and Steve Marriott. The Raspberries did shows with us,” Stanley wrote. “A killer band live & I loved their records.”