Rock ‘n’ roll siren Ronnie Spector, who sang such 60s hits as Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, and Walking in the Rain as the frontwoman of the Ronettes has died, age 78.
Spector passed away on Wednesday, January 12 after a brief battle with cancer, according to a statement issued by her family on the singer’s website.
“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,” the statement 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.
“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.”
Fans were quick to share their grief following the passing of Spector and pay their tributes to the music icon.
“I’ll love you forever Ronnie, you are the more the embodiment of rock and roll than anyone who walked the earth.”
“I can’t believe this. My sincerest condolences to the icon Ms. Ronnie was. Sending all of my love.”
“I can not believe this. I am heartbroken. I am so glad to have been able to witness her voice in real life. The most righteous badass with the vibrato of an angel.”
“Absolute icon and game changer. RIP”
The Ronettes became one of the premier acts of the girl-group era even touring England with the Rolling Stones. The Ronettes had nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became Top 40 hits. In 1964, the Rolling Stones were their opening act when they toured the UK. The Ronettes also opened for the Beatles on their 1966 US tour, becoming the only girl group to tour with them, before splitting up in 1967.
Spector is survived by her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and two sons, Jason and Austin.