NEW YORK (AP) — Ronnie Spector, the cat-eyed, bee-hived rock ‘n’ roll siren who sang such 1960s hits as “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain” as the leader of the girl group The Ronettes, has died. She was 78.
Spector died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer, her family said. “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,” a statement said. No other details were revealed.
Tributes flooded social media, from Stevie Van Zandt saying it was an honor to produce her, to Brian Wilson, who wrote on Twitter: “I loved her voice so much and she was a very special person and a dear friend.” Diane Warren called her “The voice of a million teenage dreams including mine.”
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.
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.
“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.”
Spector, born Veronica Bennett, and her multiracial bandmates grew up in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan. They began singing and dancing in clubs as Ronnie and the Relatives, becoming noteworthy for their liberal use of eyeliner and mascara.
“The louder they applauded, the more mascara we put on the next time,” she wrote in her memoir. “We didn’t have a hit record to grab their attention, so we had to make an impression with our style. None of it was planned out; we just took the look we were born with and extended it.”
In March 1963, Estelle Bennett managed to arrange an audition in front of Phil Spector, known for his big, brass-and-drum style dubbed the “wall of sound.” They were signed to Philles Records in 1963. After being signed, they sang backup for other acts until Spector had the group record “Be My Baby” and “Baby I Love You.”
The group’s debut album, “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica,” was released in 1964. Five of its 12 tracks had made it to the U.S. Billboard charts.
“Nothing excites me more than just being onstage, 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.”
After touring Germany in 1967, the Ronettes broke up. Spector married Ronnie in 1968, then she said he kept her locked in their Beverly Hills mansion. Her 1990 autobiography “Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts And Madness” tells an unhappy story of abuse. The couple divorced in 1974. Phil Spector was sent to prison in 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and died in 2021.
Ronnie Spector’s influence was felt far and wide. Brian Wilson became obsessed with “Be My Baby” and Billy Joel wrote “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in Spector’s honor. Amy Winehouse frequently cited Spector as an idol.
Ronnie Spector performs onstage during the 2017 NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 21, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)
Martin Scorsese used “Be My Baby” to open his 1973 film “Mean Streets” and the song appears in the title sequence of “Dirty Dancing” and the closing credits of “Baby Mama.” It also appeared on TV in “Moonlighting” and “The Wonder Years.”
When the Ronettes were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones remembered opening for the trio in England in the mid-1960s. “They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound,” Richards said. “They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still.”
After the Ronettes broke up, Spector continued to tour and make music, including “Take Me Home Tonight” with Eddie Money, recording Joel’s “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and recording the 1999 EP “She Talks to Rainbows,” which included her first ever recording of “Don’t Worry Baby,” written for her by Brian Wilson.
In 2006, she released “Last of the Rock Stars,” her first album in 20 years and it featured appearances by the Raconteurs, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and the Raveonettes. In 2010 she released a doo-wop Christmas EP called “Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Ever” and in 2016 released “English Heart,” her covers of songs from Britain in the ’60s.
She is survived her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and two sons, Jason and Austin.
300,000 Brits Have ‘Stealth’ Heart Condition That Could Kill Them ‘In 5 Years,’ Researchers Say
Doctors are urgently warning people in the United Kingdom that 300,000 Brits are living with a “stealth” heart condition that could kill them within five years.
A report by The Sun warned that some 300,000 Brits in the United Kingdom are living with a “stealth” heart disease that could kill them in five years, according to researchers in the UK and Australia.
A third of the people with the mysterious heart disease are “likely to have no idea they are infected because they do not show clear symptoms.”
The disease, aortic valve stenosis (AS) is a heart condition that “often shows no symptoms until it’s already too late.”
From the report:
The condition is when the heart’s aortic valve narrows, reducing or blocking blood flow from the heart into the main artery to the body (aorta).
This can cause chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, or a rapid, fluttering heartbeat in the more severe and life-threatening cases.
Some people are more prone to getting it, including those of older age, with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart conditions from birth.
Given the ageing of the UK population, it is thought that there may be a large pool of as yet undiagnosed people.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine adversely impact the heart?
Researchers in the UK and Australia set out to estimate how many people could be living with the condition now, and of those, how many are at risk of death.
According to the researchers, 1.5% of people over the age of 55 in the UK at any one time could have severe AS, equal to around 300,000 people.
Just under 200,000 of them were symptomatic, indicating that they had a severe case of the disease and were eligible for surgery.
The remaining 90,000 had a “silent” case and will “probably not be diagnosed” unless they are screened for other issues.
Without timely treatment, researchers say, an estimated 172,859 people will die over the next five years heading into 2024, meaning 35,000 people every year, with 10,000 of those deaths being among 55-64 year olds.
Studies have shown that people with a severe case of AS who do not get treated with surgery have a 25% chance of dying within the first year after symptoms begin, with the risk increasing to 50% in the second year.
The researchers, led by Geoffrey Strange, a cardiologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, said: “In conclusion, this study suggests that severe [aortic stenosis] is a common condition affecting many individuals within the UK population aged 55 [and older].
“Without appropriate detection and intervention, their survival prospects are likely to be poor.”
The researchers are concerned the NHS will not be able to cope with the wave of older people with aortic disease over the next few years.
The research comes as some remain concerned that myocarditis and other heart conditions known to be side effects of the controversial COVID-19 vaccines are not being taken seriously.
Some suggested the new warning regarding AS and the COVID-19 vaccines could be linked, though National File was not able to find evidence confirming this.
It’s the jabs!! Don’t flannel the truth! This stealth heart disease bollocks is just the cover up to justify the coming deaths!!!https://t.co/EPtx83GdMV
— Truthseeker1984 (@Truthseeker1985) January 27, 2022
they’re already setting up the excuse when you mindless sheep start dying.
300,000 Brits living with stealth disease that could kill within 5 years pic.twitter.com/K0RsnoXfjL
— Talking Surface Monkey (@blackbarthnews) January 27, 2022
Cover stories already circulating to cover long term vax injuries in the next 5 years???? https://t.co/9Q2zSJS2A0
— Marmite 🌸🌸🌸 (@marmite2021) January 27, 2022
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HERE IT IS: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Publishes Letter Announcing His Retirement
Justice Breyer on Thursday officially announced his retirement from the Supreme Court after 27 years on the bench.
Joe Biden and Stephen Breyer will be speaking at 12:30 on Thursday where the president will announce his new SCOTUS nominee to replace Breyer.
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Stephen Breyer, a Bill Clinton appointee, released a letter about his retirement.
Justice Breyer said he plans to retire at the end of the current SCOTUS term (June/July).
Read it here:
Judge Forces Trump Attorney to Turn Over 1,500 Pages a Day for Liz Cheney’s Amusement
A California judge is forcing Trump Attorney John Eastman to review and turn over at least 1,500 documents a day in the Democrat Party’s continued harassment and abuse of the opposition party.
Eastman, a staunch Trump supporter, is a major target of the communist left in their ongoing attempt to crush their opponents and send a message to the people of America. NO dissent will be allowed.
Liz Cheney and her committee members must be very pleased.
Eastman was outspoken in his belief that the 2020 election was stolen from the most popular president in American history. Trump recorded more votes by a sitting President in a national election. A majority of Americans to this day believe the election was decided by fraudulent means.
A federal judge Wednesday night ruled that former President Donald Trump’s lawyer must review at least 1,500 pages of records per business day and immediately transfer any unprivileged documents to the House Jan. 6 committee.
Judge David Carter, of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, ordered attorney John Eastman to begin producing pages to congressional investigators beginning Friday, Politico reported.
Any documents Eastman deems privileged must be given to Carter. If the committee challenges the lawyer’s claim, the judge will review the records to determine whether the assertion was valid before holding a hearing to adjudicate the privilege disputes.
Carter earlier rejected Eastman’s attempt to block the committee’s subpoena for 19,000 pages of emails held by his former employer, Chapman University. Eastman has claimed that many of the emails relate to his legal clients and therefore be subject to potential attorney-client privilege.
The Wednesday night ruling showed that Carter is taking a more hands-on approach than any federal judge so far to assist the Jan. 6 select committee’s effort to access specific documents from a reluctant witness.
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