Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the Ronettes and 1960s icon, dies aged 78

13 January 2022, 00:46

Ronnie Spector, the lead singer of the group Ronettes, has died.
Ronnie Spector, the lead singer of the group Ronettes, has died. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the Ronettes and the soaring voice behind hits like "Be My Baby", has died at the age of 78 after a "brief cancer battle".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Her family say she lived her life "with a twinkle in her eye", as they paid tribute to the rock 'n' roll siren who died on Wednesday following a short 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.

Alongside her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley, Spector 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.

Ronnie Spector has died.
Ronnie Spector has died. Picture: Alamy

The Ronettes' sexy look and powerful voices - plus songwriting and producing help from Phil Spector - turned them into one of the premier acts of the girl-group era, touring England with the Rolling Stones and befriending the Beatles.

"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."

She is survived by her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and two sons, Jason and Austin.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

George Floyd case

Jury selected in US federal trial over killing of George Floyd

Joe Biden

Biden issues new warning to Russia over invading Ukraine

Covid Austria

Austrian parliament approves universal vaccine mandate

Capitol riot investigation

Capitol investigation committee requests interview with Ivanka Trump

Entrance to Auschwitz

UN approves resolution to condemn denial of the Holocaust

Afghanistan women's protest

Woman activist arrested by Taliban in raid on her home in Kabul

Antony Blinken

US warns of ‘swift, severe’ response if Russia invades Ukraine

Scene of Liberia stampede

At least 29 people die in stampede at religious festival in Liberia

Novak Djokovic is reportedly preparing to sue the Australian government.

Novak Djokovic 'to sue Australian government for £3m' over deportation

Liz Truss will urge Mr Putin to engage in "meaningful discussions" about the situation in Ukraine

Putin must 'step back' from war and free world will 'stand its ground', says Foreign Sec

Antony Blinken and Annalena Baerbock

US and European diplomats meet in Berlin to discuss Ukraine situation

Former Pope Benedict failed to act on child sexual abuse

Pope Benedict 'failed to act' in four child sexual abuse cases, report finds

Audio footage has been obtained from the final conversation between the Texas synagogue attacker Malik Akram and his younger brother Gulbar, who urged his sibling to surrender.

'Think about your kids': Brother's desperate phone call with Texas synagogue attacker

Russian Sukhoi 30 jet

Russia accuses the West of ‘plotting provocations’ over Ukraine

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Former Pope Benedict criticised over handling of sexual abuse claims

Tina Turner at Wembley

Tina Turner and husband buy £56m estate on shore of Lake Zurich