Ronnie Spector dead: The Ronettes singer dies aged 78 after cancer battle

Ronnie Spector – who was the lead singer in American girl group The Ronettes – has died, her family have shared

(Image: REUTERS)BySara-Aisha KentSenior Showbiz Reporter

  • 22:10, 12 Jan 2022
  • Updated22:33, 12 Jan 2022

Ronnie Spector, real name Veronica Greenfield, has died at the age of 78.

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The Ronettes singer – who sang hits Be My Baby and Walking in the Rain – died on Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer.

Her family confirmed her passing with a statement that reflected on her bubbly personality and rocking talent.

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 announcement read.

The Ronettes formed the girl group in 1957, Ronnie was in the band with her elder sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley.

They began singing and dancing in clubs as Ronnie and the Relatives then in 1963 they auditioned in front of Phil Spector.

Ronnie Spector, real name Veronica Greenfield, has died
(

Image:
Michael Ochs Archives)

She passed away after a cancer battle
(

Image:
David Williams/Redux)

Producer Phil was known on the music scene and after impressing him, the trio were signed to Phillies Records in 1963.

At first, they performed as backup singers for other bands before releasing their debut album in 1964.

They were an instant success with five of its 12 tracks making it onto the U.S. Billboard charts.

After touring, the Ronettes broke up at the end of the 60s.

Ronnie went on to marry manager Ronnie – but it was a toxic and abusive marriage, she shared in her 1990 autobiography.

Ronnie was in the band with her elder sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley
(

Image:
Michael Ochs Archives)

In the book titled Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts And Madness she told about the abuse.

The couple divorced in 1974, Phil was sent to prison in 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and died in 2021.

Ronnie later married Jonathan Greenfield, in 1982 and they welcomed two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles.

Ronnie told PEOPLE in 2017 that she was her happiest when performing.

The songstress was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004
(

Image:
FilmMagic, Inc)

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“Nothing excites me more than just being on stage, having fun and flirting and winking to the guys and stuff like that,” she told the outlet.

“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.”

The songstress' contribution to American popular music was recognized by her induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004 this was followed by The Ronettes being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

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