The voice of the Ronettes, Ronnie Spector, has died.
The singer’s representative, Seth Cohen, confirmed that Spector died on Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer. She was 78.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Spector’s family said Spector “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,” the statement continued. “Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her.”
Spector was surrounded by family, “and in the arms of her husband” Jonathan, when she died in Connecticut.
Born Veronica Bennett, Spector formed the Ronettes in 1957 with her older sister, Estelle, and their cousin, Nedra Talley. She married mercurial record producer Phil Spector in 1968 – they separated in 1972 – who produced the majority of the group’s charttoppers.
Spector’s potent voice soared on a parade of hits in the early-to-mid ‘60s, including “Be My Baby,” “Baby, I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.” A lengthy solo career followed, starting with the single “So Young” in 1964.
The singer was introduced to a new generation when she was featured on Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” in 1986, which received prominent play on MTV.
Spector more recently appeared in the Amy Winehouse documentary, “Amy Winehouse: Back to Black” in 2018; Winehouse had previously spoken of the influence of the Ronettes on her own music.
In 2007, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Ronettes.
Spector’s family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to local women’s shelters or to the American Indian College Fund.
A celebration of Spector’s life will be announced in the future.
This is a developing story.