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CD pioneer Phil Ramone dies at 79

London: US music producer and pioneer of digital recording Phil Ramone has passed away in hospital after fighting from aortic aneurysm for several weeks. He was 79.

Ramone, who won 14 Grammy awards and has worked with stars such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Paul McCartne, is regarded as one of the most successful producers in history, the BBC reported.

He produced the first major commercial release on CD, Billy Joel`s 1982 album 52nd Street.

Ramone was a native of South Africa and learnt the violin at the age of three after which he became a US citizen at 12, and opened his own recording studio in 1958.

He was best known for bringing artists together for duets, producing efforts by Frank Sinatra and Bono, and Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney among others.

Ramone produced three records that won Grammys for album of the year - Paul Simon`s Still Crazy After All These Years in 1976, 52nd Street and Ray Charles` Genius Loves Company in 2005 and his last one came in 2012, when he won best traditional pop vocal album for producing the Tony Bennett album Duets II.

His son Matt Ramone, who confirmed his death, said: "very loving and will be missed."