If you’ve seen the cult movie of the 1980s Dirty Dancing, you probably remember the first dance steps of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray on the frenzied tube of the 1960s Be My Baby. A piece performed by The Ronettes, whose lead singer, the American Ronnie Spector, died on Wednesday January 12 of cancer.
The announcement was made by his family: “Ronnie has lived his life with a sparkle in his eyes, a brave demeanor, a creaky sense of humor and a smile on his face. She was filled with love and gratitude. “
The Ronettes’ sexy looks and powerful vocals made them one of the first ‘girl bands’, performing in the UK alongside the Rolling Stones. Ronnie Spector, alongside his sister Estelle and cousin Nedra, has enjoyed mainstream success with his hits Baby, I Love You, Walking in the Rain, I Can Hear Music and Be My Baby.
“We weren’t afraid to be sexy. It was our trademark, explained Ronnie Spector in his memoirs. When we saw The Shirelles take the stage with their wide evening dresses, we went in the opposite direction and molded our bodies into the tightest skirts we could find. Then we would take the stage and pull up those skirts to show our legs even more. “
Immediate success and abusive relationship
Ronnie Spector, née Veronica Bennett, and her music partners grew up in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan. They began to sing and dance in clubs under the band name “Ronnie and the Relatives”, getting noticed for their eyes underlined by a thick coat of mascara.
After signing a contract in 1963 with legendary producer Phil Spector, the girls enjoyed immediate success with their first album released the following year, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica including five of the twelve titles will take place in the American Billboard, the ranking of the greatest hits in music.
The group broke up in 1967, after touring Germany. The following year, Ronnie married Phil Spector who pushed her to live as a recluse in his Californian home in Beverly Hills. She will denounce this toxic and abusive relationship years later in her autobiography. The couple divorced in 1974.
After the Ronettes broke up, Ronnie Spector continued to record songs and perform on stage. Among his most outstanding titles, we retain Take Me Home Tonight Where Say Goodbye to Hollywood with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
In 2006, the singer came out Last of the Rock Stars, his first album in twenty years, featuring collaborations with the Raconteurs, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and the Raveonettes.