It’s been less than two weeks since 2022 began and we’ve already had to say goodbye to more entertainers than we’d like to believe, including iconic P-Funk member Calvin Simon, heavily-sampled jazz legend James Mtume, and historic Hollywood leading man Sidney Poitier amongst others.
The latest person we unfortunately have to say farewell to is Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the ’60s girl group The Ronettes who died today at the age of 78.
TMZ reports that Ronnie died earlier today in the arms of her husband and manager Jonathan Greenfield after battling cancer. With The Ronettes, which included her late elder sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley, Spector enjoyed major success on the Billboard Hot 100 with hits like their 1963 game-changer “Be My Baby.” The group went on to become one of the biggest music groups of their time, eventually being voted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Take a brief look at the life story of Ronnie Spector below, via Vanity Fair:
“Born Veronica Bennett in 1943 in Harlem, Ronnie rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the Ronettes, a group she formed with her sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedre Talley. Their song ‘Be My Baby’ was their biggest hit, and they joined the Beatles on their U.S. tour in 1966.
From 1968 until 1974, she was married to Phil Spector, who produced many of the band’s records and died almost exactly a year ago. In her memoir, ‘Be My Baby,’ she detailed his refusal to let her out of their home, among other allegations of emotional abuse. Spector was convicted of murder in 2009 and died while serving his sentence, but as Ronnie wrote on Instagram after his death, ‘I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.'”
We send our condolences to her family during this time of grievance, and pray her legacy lives on through those she influenced over the years. A biopic about her life starring Zendaya has already reportedly been in the works since it was announced back in 2020.
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