She was a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community, even back then, and throughout the rest of her life.
Spector passed away quite unexpectedly January 12. According to a press release from family members, she experienced a brief battle with cancer.
That came as a surprise to most, because she had posted pictures of herself and former romantic involvement David Bowie on Facebook just four days before her death.
“Here we are back in the day when we could still go outside,” she wrote, sarcastically taking a pot shot at the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
Spector’s career exploded in the early 1960s when she was the lead vocalist for Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes. Along with producer and composer Phil Spector, who would later become her husband, she and the Ronettes found themselves center stage with such songs as “Be My Baby,” “Baby, I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.”
Years later, after ending a rocky relationship with convicted and recently deceased murderer Phil Spector, Ronnie eventually launched an effort to return to the music industry, which resulted in a number of recorded duets with various artists, including “Take Me Home Tonight” with Eddie Money, which shot to the top of the American pop charts and put her back in the spotlight, although she never fully reclaimed the notoriety she had achieved earlier on.
Regardless, she maintained a devoted following, many of whom were LGBTQ fans. She never hesitated to point out that she realized much of her success was due to the LGBTQ community and the love she felt for them.
Most recently, she talked about it in an interview in 2017 with People Magazine, prior to her performance at San Francisco Gay Pride.
“The gay community started my whole career,” she recalled. “They said, “Ronnie you can do this. You’re fabulous. It kept me going and going, and now I’m going to [perform again] in front of the whole crowd. This is something I have dreamed of for the last 20 years, so I can’t wait to get to San Francisco for Gay Pride.
“It’s amazing because performing [for the gay community] was how I started before I had a hit record with the Ronettes, and also after I came back from California [after the divorce from Phil Spector].
“Our career – The Ronettes – started working in the Village in the gay coffee shops. And then when I came back from California, where do you think I started out? I started out at the Continental Baths. A gay club! That’s how I started my return to show business.”
Just this past June, Spector posted on her Twitter account the following:
“Happy Pride Month! Besides my family the first fans the Ronettes had were Gay. I guess they liked us because we were outsiders, and different. They supported us from the beginning and still do. Love your Gay brothers and sisters and your neighbors.”
Born Veronica Bennett on August 10, 1943, Ronnie Spector was 78 years old.