Ronnie Spector, the powerhouse vocalist and teenage protegé behind the 60s rock band the Ronettes, died on Wednesday at 78.
“Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today,” her family wrote in a statement, adding that the star lost 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,” they continued.
“Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her.”
Spector, born Veronica Yvette Bennett in 1943, was known for singing hits including “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.”
Her trademark beehive and unapologetic bad-girl swagger made waves in the music industry when the rock group first hit the airwaves in 1963.
“We weren’t afraid to be hot. That was our gimmick,” Spector wrote 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.”
The group’s first album, 1964’s “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica,” was an instant hit, with five of its 12 tracks making it to the top of the US Billboard charts.
In 1968, after the Ronettes split, she married Phil Spector, the Wall of Sound producer behind the group’s hits.
“When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best,” she recently wrote on Instagram. “He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days. Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale. The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.”
But Ronnie, who has spoken in depth about abuse and vindictiveness she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband before and after their 1974 divorce, also referenced the bad times.
“As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband. Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever. Phil Spector 1939-2021,” she wrote.
Ronnie, who was married to Phil for six years, has previously accused him of pulling a gun on her, forcing her to sign a divorce settlement that reportedly cut her out of future records earning, and even lobbying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to not induct her.
In 1982, she married her manager Jonathan Greenfield and had two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles.
Fans immediately paid tribute to her life and legacy on Twitter. One wrote, “Ronnie Spector. A rock and roll hero. A total badass. A survivor who took back her power. My admiration for her runs deep. May she Rest in Power.”
Another added, “Deeply saddened to hear that we lost Ronnie Spector today. She made pop music much cooler than it was, influenced everyone from Amy Winehouse to Missy Elliot. With the Ronettes, Ronnie smashed the girl group mold/allowed inspiring acts like Labelle to soar. #RonnieSpector#RIP.”
“In lieu of flowers, Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund,” her family said in the statement. “A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future. The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time.”
Mariah the Scientist emerged into the music scene with her debut studio album in 2019 titled “Master.” The singer, who is signed to Tory Lanez’s One Umbrella record label, is most notable for her singles, “Not A Love Song,” “2 You,” “All for Me,” and “Always n Forever” featuring Lil Baby.
Recently, the Atlanta native sparked dating rumors with Young Thug after the SLAAT rapper cashed out on a new Porsche Taycan for the singer. The two were also spotted together at the Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots game.
The two really sent social media in a frenzy when footage of the two tying the knot surfaced on the internet, but later fans found out that the look was for a music video.
As Mariah the Scientist is making a name for herself, the singer wants people to know that she is not fitness model and adult actress, Brittany Renner.
While the two may look alike, the “Walked In” singer made a post to her Twitter clearing the air on her identity.
“I’m gone say this one time. Me and Brittany Renner r not the same person nor are we related,” she stated on Twitter with a laughing emoji.
Even after trying to clear it up, some fans still pick with the singer and insinuate that the two are the same.
Halle Bailey gives viral TikTok song “Hrs and Hrs” by Muni Long a shot.
Chloe and Halle Bailey have been in the show biz for quite some time. The two talented sisters started making a name for themselves after posting various singing videos of themselves on Youtube.
From youtube to the big screen, the sisters add a new definition to putting respect on their name as they can now be seen in movies, TV shows, dropping albums, and becoming the proteges of Beyonce.
As of lately, the sisters have been showing their talents individually as Chloe Bailey blessed the 2021 VMA Awards with a performance of her single, “Have Mercy” and Halle Bailey has recently wrapped up the live-action version to Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Before Chloe released her own single, fans were begging the star for solo music as she dropped covers of songs to her Instagram where she showcased her voice.
Taylor Swift, who has long supported independent music shops and vinyl culture, will serve as Record Store Day Ambassador for this year’s event, set to take place on April 23. The artist is the event’s first global ambassador.
Over the years, the singer-songwriter has put out special releases for both RSD and RSD’s Black Friday events, and RSD organizers say that Swift’s Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), and Red (Taylor’s Version) are consistently on indie store charts because of her commitment to putting out her albums on CD and LP formats.
“I’m very proud to be this year’s Global Ambassador for Record Store Day,” Swift said in a statement. “The places where we go to browse and explore and discover music new and old have always been sacred to me. Record stores are so important because they help to perpetuate and foster music-loving as a passion.
“They create settings for live events,” she continued. “They employ people who adore music thoroughly and purely. Those people and shops have had a rough few years and we need to support these small businesses more now than ever to make sure they can stay alive, stay eccentric, and stay individual. It’s been a true joy for me to watch vinyl sales grow in the past few years and we, the artists, have the fans to thank for this pleasant surprise. Happy Record Store Day, everyone! Stay safe out there.”
Swift quietly showed her commitment to independent retail in 2020, when pandemic lockdowns were endangering the futures of small businesses, by sending out signed copies of her albums to specific stores. She also threw financial support behind the scenes at the Nashville outpost Grimey’s New & Preloved Music, where she covered three months’ worth of health care costs for each employee.
“We’re thrilled to learn that Taylor Swift is our 2022 Record Store Day Ambassador!” Grimey’s Anna Lundy and Doyle Davis said. “Swift has shown her love and support for independent record stores by not only supporting our shop specifically during the dark, early days of the pandemic, when she directly donated to help us support our staff, but also by steering her eager, excited, and dedicated fans to independent record stores, places that many of them visited for the first time while in search of her signed CDs. As Swift has grown as an artist, we’ve watched her fans grow with her and have been delighted to see her taking control of her recordings and working with musicians like Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, artists whose music has resonated in shops like ours for years. We can’t think of a better choice for RSD Ambassador for 2022!”
“The role of RSD Ambassador is, of course, something we take seriously in the sense that it helps us do our job of shining a light on these special places,” RSD co-founder Carrie Colliton said. “We’re pretty picky about the people we invite to ‘wear the sash,’ and we always want to make sure those Ambassadors genuinely love record stores and are creative about ways to celebrate them. But mostly it’s a title we want people to have fun with, and we know that our RSD 2022 Ambassador loves having fun, loves music, and loves record stores. For our 15th Record Store Day, we’re teaming up with a woman who does all that and just happens to be one of the biggest artists on the planet.”
Previous Record Store Day ambassadors include Ozzy Osbourne, Brandi Carlile, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Chuck D, Dave Grohl, Metallica, St. Vincent, Run the Jewels, and Pearl Jam, among others.