'Bad Girl Of Rock & Roll' Ronnie Spector, Lead Singer Of The Ronettes Has Died At The Age Of 78

'Bad Girl Of Rock & Roll' Ronnie Spector, Lead Singer Of The Ronettes Has Died At The Age Of 78

The 'Baby, I Love You' singer passed away after a brief stint with cancer surrounded by family.

Ronnie Spector or Veronica Greenfield who formed The Ronettes in 1957, passed away at the age of 78.


The statement from the legendary singer's website said: "Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer. She was with family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan." It went on to say, "Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor, and a smile on her face. 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."


Ronnie was a '60s icon with her powerful voice, signature beehive hairdo, and frontwoman of The Ronette trio. The group comprised Ronnie, her elder sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. Some of their most memorable songs include Baby, I Love You, (The Best Part of) Breakin' Up, and Walking in the Rain. The group's song, Be My Baby was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. While Ronnie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Ronettes in 2007, she stepped out of the group and launched her solo career in 1964. In the '80s she released five studio albums.

"I just heard the news about Ronnie Spector and I don't know what to say," Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who said Be My Baby was the greatest pop recording ever produced, wrote on Twitter. "I loved her voice so much and she was a very special person and a dear friend. This just breaks my heart. Ronnie's music and spirit will live forever."


Joan Jett also took to Twitter to express condolences. "Our dear friend Ronnie Spector, has passed. She was the sweetest person you could ever know. And her mark on rock and roll is indelible," she tweeted


Ronnie went on to forge an image as "the bad girl." Her group saw an early success and they even went on to open for The Beatles. The group broke up in 1967 and in 1988, Ronnie and the Ronettes sued Phil Spector, record producer for the group, for more than $10 million in royalties and licensing fees. A court eventually ordered him to pay the Ronettes royalties twice a year. Ronnie also started an affair with the producer and married him in 1968. Writing in her memoir, Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, she described Spector's controlling and emotionally abusive behavior. She is known to have famously said, "While he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband."

She married her manager Jonathan Greenfield in 1982 and had two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles. Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women's shelter or to the American Indian College Fund in lieu of flowers. A celebration of Ronnie's life and music will be announced in the future as well. 


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