Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, dead at 78

Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, dead at 78
Jack Kay/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Ronnie Spector, the swaggering 1960s pop icon with the sky-high beehive whose sultry, quavering voice-powered numerous hits for The Ronettes, including “Be My Baby,” has died, her family announced in a statement Wednesday.

She was 78.

“Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer,” the family said. “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.”

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has called “Be My Baby” the greatest pop recording ever made.

Spector, also known for “Baby I Love You,” was married to songwriter and record producer Phil Spector from 1968 to 1974.

The family said Ronnie Spector “was filled with love and gratitude. 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.”

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