She was 78 years old.
“Beloved angel Ronnie left this world in peace today after a short battle with cancer,” the family said. “She was with the family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan. Ronnie lived her life with a sparkle in her eye, a brave attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face.”
Tributes to Spector’s talent started pouring in from the music kings.
Born in the Spanish neighborhood of Harlem in New York City, Veronica Bennett formed the Ronets family in 1961 with her older sister and cousin when she was still a teenager.
The group only became popular after auditioning two years later for music producer Phil Spector, creator of the 1960s “wall of sound” style, who signed them to his trademark.
Prompted by the phenomenal success of Be My Baby, their first single for Spector, they toured the country with Caravan stars Dick Clark and released a string of pop hits over the next several years, including “Baby I Love You,” “Walk in the Rain.” and “Do you love me?”
The group broke up in 1967. Soon after Ronnie married Phil Spector, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. The couple separated 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.
By the mid-1970s, Ronnie Spector began a new career as a solo artist. Although she didn’t hit commercial peaks again in her peak 60s, she did make a comeback in the radio top 40 singing with Eddie Money on the 1986 song, “Take Me Home Tonight.”
Phil Spector was later convicted of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and sentenced to 19 years in prison. Died behind bars.
Ronnie Spector continued to record music and perform well into her seventies.
Her family said she was “full of love and gratitude. Her cheerful voice, playful nature and magical presence will go on to all who knew, heard or seen her.” Instead of flowers, Ronnie requested that a donation be made to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund. A celebration will be announced Ronnie’s future life and music. The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time.”