Ronnie Spector, Beloved Ronettes Singer, Dead at 78

Ronnie Spector, the leader of the girl group the Ronettes and the voice behind immortal classics like “Be My Baby” and “Walking in the Rain,” died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer. She was 78.

“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face,” her family said in a statement. “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.

Spector sang with the Ronettes from their formation in 1959 through their dissolution in 1967, though there were several reunions over the past few decades. Working with Phil Spector, they recorded many of the greatest songs of the girl group era. They separated in 1972 and she chronicled the painful chapter of her life in the 1990 memory Be My Baby. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Last year, “Be My Baby” ranked at Number 22 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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