Tim Hauser, Founder and Singer of Manhattan Transfer, Dies at 72

Tim Hauser, 2014.
Sherry Rayn Barnett /Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Tim Hauser of The Manhattan Transfer performs at the San Manuel Amphitheater on April 24, 2014 in San Bernadino, California. 

Tim Hauser, the founder and singer of the Grammy-winning vocal troupe The Manhattan Transfer, died Thursday (Oct. 16) from cardiac arrest, band representative JoAnn Geffen said Friday. He was 72.

Hauser founded Manhattan Transfer, who released their debut album in the early 1970s and launched hits such as "Operator" and "The Boy from New York City." They went on to win multiple pop and jazz Grammy Awards. Their critically acclaimed album, 1985's Vocalese, earned a whopping 12 Grammy nominations.

Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne -- who joined in 1978 and replaced Laurel Masse -- rounded out the foursome.

"Tim was the visionary behind The Manhattan Transfer," they said in a statement. "It's incomprehensible to think of this world without him."

Hauser first formed Manhattan Transfer in 1969 with Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Gene Pistilli and Pat Rosali. They disbanded and Hauser met some of the band's new members as a taxi driver in New York City. He met a conga player while driving who introduced him to Siegel and he also met Masse while driving.

Hauser was born in Troy, N.Y. He is survived by his wife Barb Sennet Hauser, his son Basie and his daughter Lily.

Manhattan Transfer will continue their upcoming tour despite Hauser's death. Their next show is Oct. 23 in Manchester, New Hampshire.