Ronnie Spector, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer of the Ronettes, has died. She was 78.
Spector’s death was confirmed in a statement from her family which reads as follows:
“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.
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.
A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future.
The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time.”
The Ronettes’ catalog spans from 1961 through 1974 and contains hits like “Baby, I Love You,” “Walking in the Rain” and “Be My Baby.” Spector would go on to release four solo albums: 1980’s Siren; 1987’s Unfinished Business; 2006’s The Last of the Rock Stars; and 2016’s English Heart.
Spector would famously appear on Eddie Money’s 1986 hit “Take Me Home Tonight,” which became a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and would be the catalyst for Spector to return to performing and recording after a number of years away from the music business.
One of the most popular girl groups of the 1960s, The Ronettes would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2007 in a diverse class that included Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M., Patti Smith and Van Halen. The group was inducted by Keith Richards, who said upon hearing the group in a club, “They could sing right through the Wall of Sound. They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right then and there, and they touch it still.”