The Ronettes Star Ronnie Spector Dead at 78 After Cancer Battle

The music world is mourning the loss of a ‘60s icon.

Ronnie Spector, leader of the girl group The Ronettes, died at the age of 78 following a brief battle with cancer. 

The singer’s family released an emotional statement on Jan. 12, confirming that Ronnie, born Veronica Yvette Bennett, was with family and passed “in the arms of her husband” Jonathan Greenfield.

“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face,” her family wrote. “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.”  

Asking for privacy during their difficult time, they also stated that a celebration of Ronnie’s life and music would be announced in the future.

The Ronettes, whose members also Ronnie’s older sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley, released a string of hit songs in the early-to-mid-1960s including “Be My Baby” (which was later used in the opening sequence of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing), “Baby, I Love You,” “The Best Part of Breakin’ Up” and “Walking in the Rain.”