By Claire Gordon • 12 January 2022 • 23:03
Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes and singer of hits such as “Be My Baby”, “Baby I Love You” and “Walking In The Rain” has died at the age of 78. Her family confirmed the news and said she had passed after a brief battle with cancer.
“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humour and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude,” a statement said. No other details were revealed.
Known for her signature vocal sound and sexy look when other girls groups were in prim clothes, Ronnie Spector was a 60s icon. “We weren’t afraid to be hot. That was our gimmick,” Spector said in her memoir. “When we saw The Shirelles walk on stage with their wide party dresses, we went in the opposite direction and squeezed our bodies into the tightest skirts we could find. Then we’d get out on stage and hike them up to show our legs even more.”
Ronnie Spector, alongside her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley, scored hits with pop masterpieces like “Baby, I Love You,” “Walking in the Rain,” “I Can Hear Music” and “Be My Baby,” which was co-written by Spector, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich.
“Nothing excites me more than just being on stage, having fun and flirting and winking to the guys and stuff like that,” she told People magazine in 2017. “I just have so much fun. It’s just the best feeling when I go out and they say, “Ladies and gentlemen…” —my heart stops for a minute—“…Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes!” Then I just go out there and the crowd reacts the way they react and I can go on singing forever.”
The Ronettes toured with The Rolling Stones and were friends with The Beatles. When The Ronnettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones said: “They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound. They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still.”
She is survived by her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and two sons, Jason and Austin, as reported by AP News.
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