Ronnie Spector Net Worth
Ronnie Spector has an estimated net worth of $5 million. Ronnie Spector became famous in the 1960s as the lead singer of the Ronettes, whose hits include “Be My Baby” and “Walking in the Rain.” She earns most of her income from album sales, concerts and music streaming.
Singer Ronnie Spector formed The Ronettes in 1961. The group signed record producer Phil Spector and produced a number of 1960s hits, including “Be My Baby” and “Walking in the Rain.” Ronnie married Phil in 1968, but the turbulent marriage ended six years later.
To calculate the net worth of Ronnie Spector, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:
|Net Worth:||$5 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$70 Thousand|
|Annual Income:||$1 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Singer, Musician|
On August 10, 1943, singer Ronnie Spector was born Veronica Bennett in New York City. Her mother, father, and older sister, Estelle, raised her in Spanish Harlem. Spector, the daughter of an Irish father and a mother of African American and Cherokee descent, struggled as a child to reconcile both sides of her mixed ethnic heritage, which was unusual at the time. Her father, Louis, abandoned the family when Spector and her sister were young. Her exotic features, distinct voice, and stunning beauty would eventually prove to be a boon to her music career.
Spector loved to perform as a child, often transforming the coffee table and chairs in her parents’ living room into a makeshift auditorium and climbing atop the table to sing. Spector, Estelle, and their cousin Nedra Talley Ross formed “The Ronettes,” a mash-up of their three names, and began performing small gigs and local shows around New York, most notably at The Apollo Theater, where they gained some attention as teenagers.
By 1961, the group had changed their name to “The Ronettes” and signed with Colpix Records, where they released their first double-sided singles, “I Want a Boy”/”What’s So Sweet About Sweet Sixteen” and “I’m Gonna Quit While I’m Ahead”/”My Guiding Angel.”
They had little success with Colpix, so they continued to perform as dancers in clubs, eventually landing a regular gig at the Peppermint Lounge on 46th Street. They were still underage, so they stuffed their bras and wore heavy makeup to appear older. DJ Murray the K discovered them there and booked them to perform weekly at his Brooklyn Fox Theater’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue.
By 1963, the girls had had little success with Colpix and decided to take a risk: they cold-called legendary producer Phil Spector at Mirasound Studios; struck by their bravery, he agreed to audition them.
Phil Spector was well known at the time for his “wall of sound” technique, an overdubbing vocal/orchestral effect he used throughout the 1960s to produce some of the decade’s biggest rock hits for bands like The Righteous Brothers, Tina Turner, and The Beatles. Her voice, as Ronnie Spector later recalled, was ideal for this technique due to its distinct sound: “Phil hit the jackpot when he met me because I had the perfect voice. It wasn’t a black voice or a white voice. It was simply a wonderful voice. His entire life has revolved around me.”
Phil immediately signed the Ronettes and became their sole manager and producer, writing singles for them including the megahit “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You,” “I Wonder,” “The Best Part of Breaking Up,” and “Walking in the Rain” throughout the 1960s. By 1964, the Ronettes had traveled to England, where they befriended and performed with two all-male rock groups that would define the decade: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
The Ronettes built an image based on the streetwise women of their Spanish Harlem roots over the next three years. Spector, in particular, is now regarded as “the original bad girl of rock n’ roll”—she and her bandmates wore dark mascara and short skirts, both of which were considered provocative at the time.
Phil eventually produced 28 separate hit singles for The Ronettes under his Philles Records label, and the act toured the world, joining the Beatles on their final U.S. tour at the band’s personal request in 1966.
The Ronettes also performed for American soldiers stationed abroad at Army bases, famously sending soldiers into a frenzy with their provocative outfits and sexy performances. Ronnie Spector recalled later: “We had the best times getting ready to go on stage for three years, from 1963 to 1966… Our dresses slit up the side… our beehives sprayed with Aquanet… the audience’s excitement when we walked out on stage. I used to say that we weren’t better, just different.”
Trouble With Phil Spector
However, by the end of 1966, Phil’s career had begun to wane after a string of underperforming albums. When their producer decided to retire early, the Ronettes disbanded.
This was not the end of Ronnie’s problems, however; they were just getting started. Ronnie and Phil met while working together and fell in love; the two married on April 14, 1968, and she immediately moved into his Los Angeles mansion. But Phil’s career was heading in the wrong direction. As he sank deeper into a deepening depression, symptoms of severe bipolar disorder flared up. (Phil was convicted in 2009 of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson.)
Though Ronnie is still hesitant to discuss her terrifying six-year marriage, which at times resembled a horror film or psychological thriller, she wrote about it in a tell-all memoir titled Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, or My Life as a Fabulous Ronette.
The memoir went into painful detail about Phil Spector’s tyrannical control over her life. He forbade her from speaking with The Rolling Stones or The Beatles for fear of her cheating on him, kept a glass coffin in the basement, and threatened to kill her if she ever left him. She was kept inside the mansion at all times, her shoes removed so she couldn’t leave. On the rare occasions when she was allowed outside, Phil drove her with a life-size blow-up doll of himself.
During her virtual confinement, the couple adopted a mixed-race child named Donte, who was subjected to his father’s vicious behavior as well. The boy later revealed that he was frequently locked in his bedroom, which had a chamber pot for a toilet in a corner. Phil Spector also had twin boys without informing his wife.
Ronnie became increasingly depressed and turned to drugs for relief, which led to several near-fatalities and suicide attempts. Despite numerous attempts to become sober, she found herself in the hospital on numerous occasions, even attempting to overdose in order to be away from her husband’s insanity.
During this time, she also managed to produce one record with The Beatles, the George Harrison-penned single “Try Some, Buy Some.” It was a moderate success, but it did not help her career as much as she had hoped.
She tried several times to get away from Phil Spector after returning to the United States from the recording sessions in England, but it wasn’t until 1972 that she finally broke out of the house, taking Donte with her and leaving all her personal belongings behind. In a later interview, she stated, “I knew I’d perish there… I’m not sure about much else, but I can tell you this. In my heart, I knew.” She never came back. She obtained a legal divorce in 1974.
Spector attempted to restart her career and her life after her marriage ended. Ronnie Spector briefly reformed The Ronettes with new singers in the early and mid-1970s and toured with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. She only released one single, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” which was written by Billy Joel and performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. However, she was unable to replicate the level of success she had experienced in the 1960s.
By 1978, the years of terror were over, and she had moved on from Phil Spector for good when she met a theater worker named Jonathan Greenfield, whose friendship and support quickly turned into love. They married in 1982, had two sons together, and are still together today.
Spector signed a new contract with Columbia Records in 1986 and released the album Unfinished Business. She then released the critically acclaimed She Talks to Rainbows, a 1999 album produced by her good friend Joey Ramone, who helped her recover from her traumatic marriage.
Spector toured until the end of the 1990s, attempting to show the next generation how the original rock ‘n’ rollers did it: “I know I’m going to San Francisco and all the ‘in’ places. A lot of college material, so kids can understand what rock ‘n’ roll was all about. I believe God saved me so that I can show the kids what life was like in the 1960s.”
The original Ronettes won a $3 million settlement in 2003 after suing Phil Spector for not paying them royalties for their songs. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes will be remembered for perfectly capturing the 1960s’ explosive intersection of girl power, teen angst, and social freedom. She died on January 12, 2022, after a cancer battle.
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