The Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector has died, aged 78

12 January 2022, 22:42 | Updated: 12 January 2022, 22:47

Ronnie Spector has passed away
Ronnie Spector has passed away. Picture: Alamy

By Tom Eames

Ronnie Spector has passed away at the age of 78 after a short battle with cancer.

The legendary Ronettes singer - who was best known for several 1960s hits including 'Be My Baby', and 'Walking in the Rain' - died "in the arms" of her husband and manager Jonathan Greenfield.

In a moving family statement, Ronnie's loved ones stated that a celebration of the musician's "life and music will be announced" at a later date.

The family said: "Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after 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 humour and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude.

The Ronnettes in 1968
The Ronnettes in 1968. Picture: Alamy

"Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her. In lieu of flowers, Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund.

"A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future. The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time."

Ronnie's passing comes almost a year since her ex-husband, music producer Phil Spector, died aged 81. Ronnie was married to Phil Spector from 1968 to 1974.

The Ronettes - Be My Baby / Shout (4k)

Born Veronica Yvette Bennett, Ronnie formed girl group the Ronettes in 1957 with sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. Phil Spector produced most of their output.

In 1964, Ronnie released her debut solo single, 'So Young', while her final studio album was 2016's English Heart.

She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Ronettes in 2007. She is survived by her adopted children Gary and Louis, both 55, and Donte, 52 - whom she had with Phil Spector - and her two sons, Austin and Jason, with husband Jonathan.