Monday, January 17, 2022

Ronnie Spector, rock icon behind ‘Be My Baby,’ dead at 78

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Ronnie Spector, a powerful vocalist and teenage artist of the 60s rock band Ronettes, died Wednesday at the age of 78.

“Our beloved earth angel Ronnie left this world peacefully today,” he wrote in a family statement, adding that the star had lost a brief battle with cancer. “She was with her family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan.”

“Ronnie spent his life with a twinkle in his eye, a lavish demeanor, a bad sense of humor, and a smile on his face. He was full of love and gratitude, ”they continued.

“His cheerful voice, playful nature, and magical presence live on in everyone who knows, hears, or sees him.”

Born in 1943 under the name Veronica Yvette Bennett, Spector was famous for singing hit songs such as “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You,” and “Walking in the Rain.”

Ronetta: Veronica Bennett, Estelle Bennett and Nedra Talley.

When the rock band first aired in 1963, its trademark beehive and the cruelty of a bad girl caused waves in the music industry.

“We weren’t afraid to get hot. It was our trick, ”Spector wrote in his memoirs. “When we saw Shirelles walking on stage in a wide party dress, we went in the opposite direction and squeezed our bodies into the narrowest skirts. Then we went on stage and lifted them up to show our legs more.

The band’s first album in 1964, “Presenting the Amazing Ronetta featuring Veronica,” was an instant hit, and five of its 12 tracks topped the U.S. Billboard charts. He was only 18 at the time.

In 1968, after Ronettes divorced, she married Phil Spector, the Wall of Sound producer who was behind the band’s hits.

“When I worked with Phil Spector, when I watched him work in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the best,” he wrote on Instagram. “He was in complete control and in control of everything. There is so much to love those days. Meeting and falling in love with him was like a fairy tale. The magic music we can create together is inspired by our love. I loved him madly and gave him my heart and soul. ”

But Ronnie, who spoke deeply about the violence and revenge she saw at the hands of her ex-husband before and after her divorce in 1974, also recalled bad times.

Ronnie Spector was just 18 years old when he was discovered by producer Phil Spector.
Ronnie Spector was just 18 years old when he was discovered by producer Phil Spector.

“As I’ve said many times in his life, he was a great producer, but a bad place. Unfortunately, Phil couldn’t live and work outside the recording studio. It put darkness, a lot of people’s lives were damaged. The music we did together. I still smile when I hear it and it happens. The music is forever. Phil Spector 1939-2021, “he writes.

Ronnie, who has been married to Phil for six years, was previously accused of shooting her, forcing her to sign a divorce agreement, which deprived her of her future income and even lobbied at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. do not stir it.

The couple had three adopted children – Donte Phillip and twins, Louis and Gary. Phil was later jailed in 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He died in 2021.

In 1982, he married his manager, Jonathan Greenfield, and they had two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles.

Ronnie Spector
Ronnie Spector 1978.

Fans immediately took to Twitter to pay tribute to his life and legacy. One wrote, “Ronnie Spector. Rock-n-roll hero. Completely stupid. He survived, regaining his strength. My admiration for him is profound. Let him be in power. “

Other added, “We are deeply saddened to hear that we have lost Ronnie Spector today. She made pop music cooler than ever, influencing everyone from Amy Winehouse to Missy Elliott. With Ronettes, Ronnie smashed the mold of the girls group / allowed Labelle to raise inspirational moves. #RonnieSpektor #RIP”.

“Instead of a flower, Ronnie asked you to donate to your local women’s shelter or the American Indian College Foundation,” her family said in a statement. “In the future, there will be a celebration of Ronnie’s life and music. The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time. ”

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