Singer Ronnie Spector (The Ronettes) passed away at age 78

Born Veronica Bennett, Ronnie started singing in the late 1950s. She founded the girl group with her sister Estelle and their cousin Nedra.

The three were not immediately successful and sang mainly in clubs in New York in the early 1960s. “We didn’t have a hit yet to get noticed, so we had to rely on our looks,” Spector writes in her memoir.

The girls managed to attract attention with their striking style. They wore a lot of eyeliner and mascara. “The louder people applauded, the more mascara we put on for the next performance,” she writes. “We weren’t afraid to be pretty. That was our thing.”

In 1963, one of the singers arranged an audition with legendary music producer Phil Spector, with whom she eventually had their breakthrough. be my baby released. He was responsible for most of their hits. The group broke up in 1967.


A year later, Ronnie married Spector. According to her, it was a marriage marked by psychological and physical abuse. “He was a brilliant producer, but a bad husband,” the singer said. They were married until 1974. Spector was convicted in 2003 of the murder of an actress and died in prison last year.

After the divorce, Ronnie tried to restart the girl group, but Estelle and Nedra didn’t want to anymore. In a different composition, new hits were not forthcoming for The Ronettes, after which Ronnie continued solo. But she couldn’t match the success of the early 1960s.


Spector had an influence on other artists with her appearance and voice. “I loved her voice so much,” says Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson, for example. He was obsessed with be my baby.

Billy Joel wrote Say goodbye to Hollywood of be my baby in the back of his mind. Amy Winehouse once called Ronnie her idol.