JOHNNY RAMONE Dies At 55

Johnny Ramone, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal punk band THE RAMONES, has died at the age of 55.

Ramone, who had been fighting a five-year battle with prostate cancer, died in his sleep Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 15) at his Los Angeles home surrounded by friends and family, said the band's longtime artistic director Arturo Vega.

"He was the guy with a strategy. He was the guy who not only looked after the band's interest but he also was their defender," Vega told The Associated Press.

Ramone, whose birth name is John Cummings, had been hospitalized in June at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Along with his wife, Linda Cummings, Johnny Ramone was surrounded at his death by friends, including PEARL JAM's Eddie Vedder, Rob Zombie and others. Other friends who gathered at his Los Angeles home included Lisa Marie Presley, Pete Yorn, Vincent Gallo and Talia Shire.

He is survived by his wife and his mother, Estelle Cummings. He will be cremated during a private ceremony.

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