Ronnie Spector (born August 10, 1943) is an American singer. She was lead singer of the R&B/Pop girl group, the Ronettes which had a string of hits in the 1960s. She has been called the original "bad girl of rock and roll".
She was born Veronica Yvette Bennett in New York City, the daughter of an African-American and Cherokee mother and Irish father. She and her sister, Estelle Bennett (1941–2009), were encouraged to sing by their large family, as was their cousin, Nedra Talley. All three women would later become members of the Ronettes.
The Ronettes were a popular live attraction around the greater New York area in the early 1960s. Looking for a recording contract, they initially were signed to Colpix Records and produced by Stu Phillips. After releasing a few singles on Colpix without success, they were signed by Phil Spector to Philles Records. Their relationship with Spector brought chart success with "Be My Baby", "Baby, I Love You", "The Best Part of Breakin' Up", "Do I Love You?", and "Walking in the Rain". The group had two top 100 hits in 1965: "Born to Be Together" and "Is This What I Get for Loving You?" The group broke up in early 1967, following a European concert tour that included their appearance at the Moonlight Lounge, in Gelnhausen, Germany, where they entertained American military personnel. The group's last single, "I Can Hear Music", on the Philles Records label (# 133), was released in the fall of 1966. That song was not produced by Phil Spector, who used to hire the "Wrecking Crew", Los Angeles area musicians, to provide Wall of Sound orchestral pop symphony backups for the group, at the Gold Star Recording Studio in Hollywood. Instead, "I Can Hear Music" was produced by songwriter/producer Jeff Barry, who used only a small band when he recorded the trio in a New York City recording studio. Phil stopped producing new Ronettes' records and kept many of the group's numerous unreleased songs in the vault for years. The Ronettes were never to reunite until their 2007 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 1966 was also the year when Phil Spector went into a brief seclusion. Thereafter, a one-off single, "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered," sung by Ronnie but credited to "The Ronettes Featuring the Voice of Veronica," appeared in 1969 on Herb Alpert's A&M Records label, with "Oh I Love You", an old Ronettes B-side, as the flip. Only Ronnie's voice was used for the lead and background vocals on "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered". Ronnie's recording and performing career had begun its long hiatus...
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