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Joey Ramone Biography

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Birth Name: Jeffry Ross Hyman
Born: 1951/05/19
Birth Place: Queens, New York, United States
Died: 2001/04/15
Years Active: 1972–2001
Genres: Punk Rock

Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman, May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001) was an American musician, vocalist and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the punk rock band Ramones. Joey Ramone's image, voice and tenure as front man of Ramones made him a countercultural icon.

In 1972 he joined the glam punk band Sniper performing under the name Jeff Starship. He continued playing with Sniper until early 1974, when he was replaced by Alan Turner. Later that year the punk rock band Ramones formed with John Cummings and Douglas Colvin with all three adopting stage names using “Ramone” as their surname: Cummings became Johnny Ramone, Colvin became Dee Dee Ramone, and Hyman became Joey Ramone. The name Ramone stems from a story that Paul McCartney would check into hotels under the pseudonym “Paul Ramon” while touring. Joey initially served as the group's drummer while Dee Dee Ramone was the original vocalist. Ramones manager Tommy Erdelyi suggested Joey switch to vocals while Tommy took over on drums.

Ramones were a major influence on the punk rock movement in the United States, though they achieved only minor commercial success. Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the 1988 compilation album, “Ramones Mania.” Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, and they are now regularly represented in many assessments of all-time great rock music.

In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played their final show and then disbanded. Within eight years of the breakup, the band's three founding members – Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee – had all died. Joey Ramone died of lymphoma at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on April 15, 2001, after a seven-year battle with the disease. In 2002, Ramones, including the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joey Ramone’s first solo album, “Don't Worry About Me,” was released posthumously in 2002, and featured the single, “What a Wonderful World,” a cover of the Louis Armstrong standard. “...Ya Know?,” his second solo album, was released in 2012. The album featured producers Ed Stasium, Jean Beauvoir, Daniel Rey (all of whom worked with Ramones), Joey's brother Mickey Leigh and Joe Blaney. Musicians included Joan Jett, Steven Van Zandt, Richie Ramone, Holly Beth Vincent, Genya Ravan, members of Cheap Trick and The Dictators and Mickey Leigh.