Benjamin Orr

Benjamin Orzechowski (September 8, 1947), better known as Benjamin Orr, is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame as one of the founders of the rock group The Cars. Born in Lakewood, Ohio, he developed a love for music from a very early age, mastering the guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, and drums. He made his debut with the band The Grasshoppers, with whom he released the singles “Mod Socks” and “Pink Champagne (and Red Roses)” in 1965. After striking a musical partnership in the early 60s with singer Ric Ocasek, the duo played in a couple of bands together and then recruited guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson to form The Cars. Benjamin Orr provided vocals for some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Just What I Needed,” “Let’s Go,” and “Drive,” their biggest hit in the United States. Co-written with his longtime girlfriend Diane Grey Page, his solo studio debut The Lace came out in 1986 and spawned the Top 40 pop hit “Stay the Night.” After The Cars’ breakup in 1988, Benjamin Orr continued to perform with his band ORR as well as with the covers project Big People. In April 2000, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, an illness that would claim his life in October of that year.

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