Ronnie Spector, singer of Ronettes, died at 78
She was 78 years old.
“Our beloved earthly angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer,” the family said. “She was with her family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan. Ronnie lived his life with a sparkle in his eyes, a brave demeanor, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on his face.”
Tributes to Spector’s talent began to pour in from musical royalty.
Born Veronica Bennett in New York’s Harlem Spanish Quarter, she formed the Ronettes in 1961 with an older sister and cousin when she was still a teenager.
The group only rose to fame after auditioning two years later for music producer Phil Spector, creator of the ‘Wall of Sound’ style of the 1960s, who signed them to his label.
Fueled by the smashing success of “Be My Baby”, their first single for Spector, they toured the country with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars and released a string of pop hits in the following years, including “Baby I Love You “,” Walking in the rain “and” Do I love you? “
The group broke up in 1967. Soon after, Ronnie married Phil Spector, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. The couple divorced in 1974.
In her memoir, “Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness,” Ronnie Spector described her husband as controlling and emotionally abusive.
Phil Spector was later convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson and sentenced to 19 years in prison. He died behind bars.
His family said Ronnie Spector “was filled with love and gratitude. Her cheerful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in anyone who has known, heard or seen her. In lieu of flowers, Ronnie asked for donations to be made to your local women’s association. refuge or the American Indian College Fund. A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future. The family respectfully requests privacy at this time. “