Punk-rock pioneer Joey Ramone is in a New York hospital suffering from complications related to lymphoma, according to a family member.
The singer, 49, is receiving treatment for the disease a cancer that attacks the body's ability to fight infection and is "doing well," according to Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh.
Joey (born Jeffrey Hyman) founded the Ramones in 1974 with Johnny, Tommy and Dee Dee, all of whom adopted Ramone as their last name. The band's pared-down, no-frills approach to rock and roll became a blueprint for the burgeoning U.K. punk-rock scene including the Sex Pistols and the Clash, and the band's music and rebellious spirit influence such bands as Green Day and Blink-182 to this day.
The band released 18 albums with a frequently changing lineup before breaking up on August 9, 1996. But Joey always remained the frontman, with his trademark specs and long black hair.
The band is eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, and the Ramones' official Web site has already begun a campaign to have the group inducted.
According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, about 64,000 Americans were diagnosed with lymphoma in 1999, the latest year for which the organization has numbers.