By JOHN DALY
Ronnie Spector passed away on Wednesday following a “brief battle with cancer” at the age of 78, the singer’s family said.
Born Veronica Greenfield, the American singer who formed The Ronettes in 1957 rose to the top of the charts with hits like “Be My Baby,” “Baby, I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.”
The Ronettes were comprised of Spector, her elder sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley.
Phil Spector, Ronnie’s ex-husband, produced most of songs by The Ronettes. He passed away recently while in a prison hospital.
Brian Wilson was among the many musicians who paid tribute through social media.
“I just heard the news about Ronnie Spector and I don’t know what to say,” Wilson posted on social media. “I loved her voice so much and she was a very special person and a dear friend. This just breaks my heart. Ronnie’s music and spirit will live forever. Love & Mercy, Brian”
Spector’s family released a statement: “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.”