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‘Be My Baby’ Singer Ronnie Spector Dies, Aged 78

By Oreoritse Tariemi
13 January 2022   |   2:17 pm
Cat-eyed rock 'n' roll singer and leader of 1960s group The Ronettes; Ronnie Spector has died on Wednesday aged 78 years.  The Be My Baby singer's death was announced by the family in an official statement.  The statement reads, "Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer." "Ronnie lived her…

Ronnie Spector | Photo Pitchfork

Cat-eyed rock ‘n’ roll singer and leader of 1960s group The Ronettes; Ronnie Spector has died on Wednesday aged 78 years. 

The Be My Baby singer’s death was announced by the family in an official statement. 

The statement reads, “Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer.”

“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face,” the statement continues. “She was filled with love and gratitude.”

“Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her.”

Early Life 

Birth name Veronica Greenfield, Ronnie Spector was born in New York’s Spanish Harlem on August 10, 1943, to an African-American and Cherokee mother and Irish-American father.

She formed the girl group The Ronettes with her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley. The Ronettes and their songs of love began to gain popularity in New York before signing in 1963 with the then-legendary producer Phil Spector. 

Known for their signature vampy, heavily lidded eyes, sky-high beehive hairstyles and skirts cut above the knee; The Ronettes redefined girl glamour with a seductive edge in their rise to global popularity.

Their 1960s hit songs include Baby, I Love You, (The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up, and the much loved Be My Baby, which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Described as an emblematic of Phil Spector’s dense, dramatic “Wall of Sound” production style, Be My Baby featured as the soundtrack of 1987 film Dirty Dancing. It was also used as an opener by Martin Scorsese in his 1973 film Mean Streets.

Later On

The Ronettes were the only girl group to tour with the Beatles. However, the group broke up in 1967 after a European concert tour.

Ronnie married Phil Spector in 1969, and he was jailed for murder in 2009 and died in 2021. The two divorced in 1974; however, the singer chronicled years of horrifically abusive behaviour her ex, 

After the group’s breakup, Ronnie continued her solo career and included collaborations with Eddie Money and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

However, she still held The Ronettes to her heart and did not perform any of their singles. 

“I love ’em. I’ve never not sung Be My Baby or Walking in the Rain, or Baby, I Love You. I would never disappoint my audience like that,” she told Rolling Stone in 2016.

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