Music legend Ronnie Spector is remembering her ex-husband Phil Spector after news of the music producer’s death at age 81 from COVID-19 while he served a prison sentence for the 2003 murder of Lana Clarkson.
On her Instagram page, the singer, who rose to fame with singing group the Ronettes, posted a throwback photo of herself with Spector in the recording studio, along with a lengthy caption that detailed the former couple’s meteoric rise and ultimate downfall.
“It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me,” the 77-year-old star wrote. “When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days. Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale. The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.”
She also alluded to the “darkness” of their relationship. Ronnie, who was married to Spector from 1968 to 1974, has previously accused her ex of threatening behavior, including pulling a gun on her and forcing her to sign a divorce settlement that reportedly cut her out of future records earning.
“As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband. Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio,” Ronnie shared. “Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever. Phil Spector 1939-2021.”
She wasn’t the only music legend sharing her memories of Spector. Darlene Love, who also worked with the producer on several hit songs, described her abusive working relationship with Spector.
“You know, the whole thing was like a bad marriage,” Love told Variety. “It’s a marriage that was abusive — not just physically, but mentally. That’s what Phil was trying to do with me. He wanted to control not Darlene, but the talent.”
But she also credited his role in the music industry.
“I felt this is very sad,” Love added. “I didn’t think of hate. I didn’t think, ‘He deserved it or this should have happened.’ I just felt this was a sad way for him to leave this earth. The more I thought about it, the sadder I got. He changed the sound of rock ‘n’ roll — the reason I know this is because Steve Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John all told me that.”
In Spector’s later years, the producer was embroiled in even more controversy. He was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his Los Angeles mansion, and was sentenced to 19 years to life after a trial that was completed in 2009. Spector maintained Clarkson’s death was an “accidental suicide.”
After news of Spector’s death, Clarkson’s mother, Donna Clarkson, made a note about the loss of her daughter’s life.
“Lana Clarkson was a warm, compassionate, kind, loving woman who would be 58 years old now. Her energy, brightness and love of life have sustained her family since her murder 18 years ago in 2003,” she said in a statement Sunday.
Several other people took to social media to remember Clarkson’s memory, including CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who posted a photo of Clarkson in happier times. “That is literally all I have to say about Spector and his ‘legacy,’” Tapper said.
Several other people honored Clarkson’s memory in posts.
For those mourning the loss of Phil Spector, please don’t forget my friend Lana Clarkson he murdered. A photo I took of her in the Hollywood Hills circa 1990. pic.twitter.com/mZUmKHDJy8
— Kevin Abosch (@kevinabosch) January 17, 2021
How about: ‘Murderer Phil Spector has died of covid.
He once made pop music but that’s been irrelevant ever since he killed actress Lana Clarkson.’ https://t.co/WqNIPVkYSh
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 17, 2021
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