Phil Spector, an American record producer and musician, has died on Saturday from COVID-related complications in prison, sources with direct knowledge told TMZ. He was 81.
TMZ wrote, “We’re told he died from COVID-related complications, after being transferred from his prison cell to a hospital. We’re told he was diagnosed 4 weeks ago and went to the hospital but recovered well enough to return to prison, where he was serving a 19-to-life sentence for the murder of Lana Clarkson.”
The sources said, “Spector relapsed, had trouble breathing and was rushed back to the hospital, where he died Saturday.”
The songwriter began his career early, when he was still in high school, producing his first big hit, “To Know Him is To Love Him,” by the Teddy Bears.
He then produced a flurry of hits, such as The Righteous Brothers “You Lost that Lovin’ Feeling,” “Unchained Melody,” “You’re My Soul and Inspiration,” The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” The Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel,” and on and on, according to TMZ.
Spector also had a deep association with The Beatles, producing their final album, “Let It Be.”
Born December 26, 1939, in New York City, Spector learned to play guitar, Spector performed “Rock Island Line” in a talent show at Fairfax High School, where he was a student.
When Spector produced The Ronettes, he married their lead singer, Ronnie, in 1968, and had a tumultuous relationship.
Ronnie accused him of tormenting her during their 4 years together by telling her she was nothing — personally or professionally — without him, forbidding her to leave their mansion alone, and pulling guns on her, according to TMZ. She eventually fled barefoot from him in 1972.
Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. He ended up in prison for the second-degree murder of Clarkson, an actress he had met in 2003 while she was working at the House of Blues in WeHo. He shot her, but he claimed it was an accidental suicide.