Brian Wilson leads tributes to 'dear friend' Ronnie Spector

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  • Ronnie Spector
    Ronnie Spector
    American singer (1943-2021)
  • Brian Wilson
    Brian Wilson
    American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer
 credit:Bang Showbiz
credit:Bang Showbiz

Brian Wilson has led tributes to Ronnie Spector.

The legendary Ronettes singer - who was best known for 60s' hits including 'Be My Baby', 'Baby, I Love You' and 'Walking in the Rain' - passed away aged 78, following a short battle with cancer, and tributes have flooded in for the 60s' icon.

Beach Boys legend Brian, 79, was a huge fan of Ronnie's music and admitted his heart is broken following the news of his friend's passing.

He tweeted: "I just heard the news about Ronnie Spector and I don’t know what to say. 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."

Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt said it was an "honour" to work with Ronnie, who helped them at a "very precarious time", by recording a cover of Billy Joel's 'Say Goodbye to Hollywood' and 'Baby Please Don't Go' in 1977.

At the time, Springsteen, 72, was on a music ban as he faced a dispute with his managers.

The 71-year-old rocker wrote: "RIP Ronnie Spector. It was an honor to Produce her and encourage her to get back on stage where she remained for the next 45 years. Her record with the E Street Band helped sustain us at a very precarious time (thanks to Steve Popovich). Condolences to her husband and family. (sic)"

'Kids in America' hitmaker Kim Wilde wrote: "One of the first voices I fell in love with RIP beautiful Ronnie Spector."

Ronnie passed away "in the arms" of her husband and manager Jonathan Greenfield, a family statement confirmed on Wednesday (12.01.22).

In a touching tribute, Ronnie's loved ones revealed that a celebration of the musician's "life and music will be announced" at a later date.

The statement posted to RonnieSpector.com read: "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 lieu of flowers, Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund.

"A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future.

"The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time."

Ronnie's passing comes almost a year to the day that her ex-husband, infamous music producer Phil Spector, passed away aged 81.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was married to Phil - who was serving a 19-year sentence in prison for the murder of Lana Clarkson at the time of his death - between 1968 until 1974, and despite being abusive during their six-year marriage, the musician was heartbroken by his death.

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