How old was Ronnie Spector? 'Be My Baby' singer remembered by fans

Ronnie Spector is remembered for fronting the Ronnettes and her abusive marriage to producer and convicted murder Phil Spector

Singer Ronnie Spector performs onstage during the 2017 NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 21, 2017 in Anaheim, California.
(Image credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Ronnie Spector has died of cancer after a, "brief battle with cancer." The music legend is best remembered for fronting the iconic group The Ronnettes and her influence on countless musical acts.

The lasting style impact of the singer's 60's makeup, sky-high boufant, jet black cat-eye liner, feathery, spiky eyelashes, and pale pink lips are still seen today. Look no further than the legendary Amy Winehouse and Adele, who's flawless flicks left us all wondering how to apply eyeliner.

Ronnie's career as the group's frontwoman produced unforgettable hits like Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, and Walking in the Rain. The Ronettes’ Christmas music has also left its mark with the 1963 recordings of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Sleigh Ride, and Frosty the Snowman re-entering the charts year after year.

Celebrities including Zendaya, who plays Ronnie in an upcoming A24 biopic, paid tribute to the late star saying, "Ronnie, being able to know you has been one of the greatest honors of my life."

She also survived an abusive marriage to Phil Spector, who was the group’s producer. He was later convicted of and imprisoned for murder. Their marriage from 1968 to 1972 ended when she eventually escaped, fleeing their home in bare feet because Phil didn't allow her to own shoes.

The Guardian reports that during their marriage, "Notorious behavior included making Ronnie drive with a life-size dummy of Phil alongside her; he kept her imprisoned in their house and threatened her with murder." 

Ronnie went on to marry her manager Jonathan Greenfield in 1984 and they had two sons, Jason and Austin.

Singer Ronnie Spector of the vocal trio "Ronettes" poses for a portrait with replacement singers in circa 1972.

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

How old was Ronnie Spector when she died?

Ronnie was 78 years old when she died. A statement from her family, shared on her website, reads, "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."

"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 her memory, Ronnie's family has requested donations to women’s shelters or the American Indian College Fund. 

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.