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Ronnie Spector was a hero for Amy Winehouse.
The Ronettes singer died earlier this week at the age of 78 ‘after a brief battle with cancer’ and Amy’s collaborator Mark Ronson has revealed that Ronnie was an inspiration to the late star .
He tweeted: “It may not come as a huge surprise to anyone, but Ronnie Spector was a hero to Amy Winehouse. It was one of the first things Amy made me listen to before I started work. She was amazing. Thanks Ronnie for the inspiration.”
Following Amy’s death in 2011 at the age of 27, Spector paid tribute to her with a cover of Amy’s “Back To Black”, with all proceeds going to the Daytop Village Addiction Treatment Center.
She said at the time: “When I saw her two weeks ago on TV and she was on drugs and drinking and all that, I said, ‘Shit, shit, shit, Shit! Don’t become like I was ’20 years ago! I cleaned up. You gotta clean up!’ And two weeks later she died. I’m devastated.”
Ronnie died “in the arms” of her husband and manager Jonathan Greenfield, a family statement confirmed during the week.
The statement posted on RonnieSpector.com read: “Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, left this world peacefully today after a brief battle with cancer. She was with her family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan.
“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a brave attitude, a mischievous sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude.
“Her cheerful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who have known, heard or seen her.
“In lieu of flowers, Ronnie has requested that donations be made to your local women’s shelter or the American Indian College Fund.
“A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future.
“The family respectfully request privacy at this time.”
Ronnie’s passing came almost a year to the day that her estranged husband, infamous music producer Phil Spector, died aged 81.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was married to Phil – who was serving a 19-year prison sentence for the murder of Lana Clarkson at the time of her death – between 1968 and 1974.