American singer Ronnie Spector, the leader of the Les Ronets group and the unforgettable voice of the hit “Be My Baby”, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 78, his family announced.
“Our beloved angel, Ronnie, passed away today after a short battle with cancer,” her loved ones said in a statement.
“Ronnie lived with a gleam in his eyes, a cheerful demeanor, a strong sense of humor and a smile on his face,” his family added.
Ronnie Specter, Veronica Greenfield was born on August 10, 1943, in New York, to an African-American and Native American mother and father of Irish descent near Harlem, Spain. He co-founded Ronets with his sister Estelle Bennett and his cousin Nedra Daly.
Before making a deal with famed producer Bill Specter in 1963, shortly before signing as Ronnie’s husband, he made a name for himself in the New York area with his soulful love songs.
With their glamorous eyes, XXL hairstyle and knee-length skirts, the Ronnets released a string of successes in the early 1960s, including “Baby, I Love You”, “(The Best Part) Break Up or” Be My Baby. “It was inducted into the 1999 Grammy Hall of Fame.
The song, a symbol of Bill Specter’s symphonic production style known as the “Wall of Sound”, was used as a soundtrack for films such as Martin Scorsese (1973) or “Dirty Dancing” (1987).
With the Supremes, the Ronets were one of the most popular groups of the era, and the only female group to tour with The Beatles, beginning their activity in 1966.
When the trio were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, Rolling Stones recalled guitarist Keith Richards opening their work in the 1960s. They touched my heart at that time and they still touch it, ”he said.
Ronates split in 1967, marrying Ronnie Phil Specter the following year, becoming known as one of the greatest rock and roll producers in history, but was jailed in 2009 for murder.
The couple divorced in 1974 and Ronnie Spector described in his autobiography the suffering and abuse she experienced with her ex-husband.
After the Ronets, Ronnie Spector went on to lead a solo career, ending with several collaborations with artists such as Eddie Money and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
His 2006 album, “The Last of the Rock Stars,” co-starred with Keith Richards and Patty Smith.
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