ATLANTA — Benjamin Orr, who cofounded the '80s rock band the Cars and sang on several of the group's hits, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer. News reports gave his age variously as 45 and 53.
Mr. Orr died at his Atlanta home, said Billy Johnson, manager of the musician's current band, Big People. Mr. Orr was diagnosed with the disease in May.
Mr. Orr, born Benjamin Orzechowski in Cleveland, formed the Cars in Boston in 1976 with fellow Ohio native Ric Ocasek. He played bass and sang lead vocals on several of the band's hits, including "Drive" and "Just What I Needed." The quintet helped pave the way for the new-wave explosion, mixing electronics and guitars to produce several catchy songs. After the band dissolved in 1987, Mr. Orr recorded a solo album, The Lace, which produced the hit "Stay the Night."