Veronica Yvette "Ronnie" Spector (née Bennett; born August 10, 1943) is an American rock and roll and popular music vocalist, and was the lead singer of the 1960s chart-ranked girl group, The Ronettes, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. She is known as the "original bad girl of rock and roll."
Born as Veronica Yvette Bennett in New York City on August 10, 1943. From an early age Ronnie took to singing, encouraged by her large, close family. The other members of the Ronettes, her sister Estelle Bennett (1941-2009) and cousin, Nedra Talley, were also encouraged to sing by their family. The Ronettes were a multiracial group, which was unusual during the 1960s. The Bennetts' mother was African-American and Cherokee Indian, and their father was Irish; their cousin, Nedra Talley is African-American and Puerto Rican. In her autobiography, Ronnie Spector said that at one point in her childhood, she was not sure if she was black or white.
Bennett was married to Phil Spector from 1968 to 1974, and took his name professionally; they adopted three children, including a set of twins, whom Phil adopted as a single parent after Ronnie and the youngest child left.
Donté Phillip (b. March 23, 1969; adopted November 1969, aged 8 months)
Louis Phillip (b. May 12, 1966; adopted at the age of 8)
Gary Phillip (b. May 12, 1966; adopted at the age of 8)
By her account, Phil kept Ronnie a near-prisoner and limited her opportunities to pursue her musical ambitions. In her autobiography, she said that he would force her to watch the film Citizen Kane to remind her she would be nothing without him. Spector's domineering attitude led to the dissolution of their marriage. Bennett was forbidden to speak to the Rolling Stones or tour with the Beatles, because of Phil Spector's odd fear of her possible infidelity.
Bennett claims Spector showed her a gold coffin with a glass top in his basement, promising to kill and display her should she leave him. During Spector's reclusive period in the late 1960s, he reportedly kept his wife locked inside their mansion. She claimed he also hid her shoes to dissuade her from walking outside, and kept the house dark because he didn't want anyone to see his balding head. Spector's son later claimed that he was kept locked in his room, with a pot in the corner to be used as a toilet. Ronnie stated in her autobiography that she walked out of the house through the closed, and locked rear sliding glass door, shoeless, shattering the glass as she left, and sustaining no cuts, she never returned. Ronnie Spector did leave Phil and filed for divorce in 1972. She wrote a book about her experiences, and said years later, "I can only say that when I left in the early 1970s, I knew that if I didn't leave at that time, I was going to die there." She and Spector separated in 1973 and divorced one year later.
Her autobiography, Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, co-authored by Vince Waldron, was published in 1989. In 2004, Onyx Books republished the book in a revised and updated mass-market paperback edition in the USA. She now lives in Connecticut with her second husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and their two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles. She also hosts an annual Christmas party at B. B. King's bar and grill in New York, also featuring long time friend and 1960s recording artist Darlene Love. ~SOURCE: Wikipedia
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