Ronnie Spector, iconic ’60s crooner and lead singer of the Ronettes, has died after a battle with cancer, her family confirmed. Hear tributes, classic Ronettes hits and insights from Ronnie herself below and on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Radio (Ch. 310).
Spector made a name for herself in the New York City music scene in the ’60s while performing with her sister, Estelle Bennett, and cousin, Nedra Talley. Originally called the Darling Sisters, the trio would later become the Ronettes, famous for songs including “Be My Baby,” “Baby, I Love You,” “Walkin’ in the Rain” and more, on which Spector sang vocals. In 1965, the group was voted among the top three musical groups in England after The Beatles and Rolling Stones, before parting ways in 1967 (later to reunite in 1973). Spector’s subsequent solo career influenced songs by both George Harrison and John Lennon after working with the former at Abbey Road Studios. Spector was also featured on Eddie Money’s 1986 hit “Take Me Home Tonight.” The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and released their first new single in decades in August 2017.
“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. In lieu of flowers, Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund,” Spector’s family said in a statement.
You can also join SiriusXM in paying tribute to her musical legacy on Soul Town (Ch. 49). Also, revisit Spector’s spirited performance of “Be My Baby” in the SiriusXM studios below and “Frosty the Snowman” here.
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