Ronnie Spector fell asleep quietly on Wednesday after a short battle with cancer, it says in a statement from the family.
She founded the band which was later named The Ronettes together with her sister and cousin. The band made a name for themselves in the New York area and in 1963 signed a record contract with the legendary music producer and songwriter Phil Spector, whom she married in 1968.
The Ronettes were known for a number of hit songs in the early 1960s, including “Be My Baby”, “Baby, I Love You” and “(The Best Part of) Breakin ‘Up”.
Together with The Supremes, the band was among the leading groups in the 1960s, and the only girl group to tour with The Beatles. It happened when The Ronettes were the warm-up band for The Beatles on the 1966 tour.
Ronnie Spector made a solo career after The Ronettes left in 1967, and she has collaborated with a number of artists over the years. She released her latest album in 2016. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ronnie Spector divorced Phil Spector in 1974. In her autobiography, she later wrote about a marriage marked by threats. In 2009, Phil Spector was convicted of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He was still serving his sentence when he died in January last year, aged 81.