Ronnie Spector, real name Veronica Greenfield, has died at the age of 78.
The Ronettes singer – who sang hits Be My Baby and Walking in the Rain – died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer.
Her family confirmed her passing with a statement that reflected her bubbly personality and rocking talent.
Ronnie lived his life with a twinkle in his eye, a spunky attitude, a vicious sense of humor and a smile on his face. She was filled with love and gratitude, “the message read.
The Ronettes formed the girl group in 1957, Ronnie was in the band with his big sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley.
They started singing and dancing in clubs like Ronnie and the Relatives, and in 1963 they auditioned in front of Phil Spector.
Michael Ochs archives)
David Williams / Redux)
Producer Phil was well known on the music scene, and after impressing him, the trio was signed to Phillies Records in 1963.
They first 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 US Billboard charts.
After touring, Ronettes broke up in the late 60s.
Ronnie married manager Ronnie – but it was a toxic and violent marriage she shared in her 1990 autobiography.
Michael Ochs archives)
In the book titled Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts And Madness, she talked 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 she performed.
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“Nothing excites me more than just being on stage, having fun and flirting and blinking at the guys and stuff like that,” she told the newspaper.
“I’m just having so much fun. It’s just the best feeling when I go out and they say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen …’ – my heart stops for a moment – ‘… Ronnie Spector and Ronettes!’ Then I just go out there and the audience reacts the way they do, and I can keep singing forever. “
The singer’s 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.