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Phil Spector, Music Producer Jailed for Murder Dies at 81 — inside His Life & Career

Odette Odendaal
Jan 18, 2021
08:10 A.M.

Controversial music producer, Phil Spector, died from complications due to the novel Coronavirus at the age of 81 while serving a lengthy prison sentence.


A revolutionary in music, Phil Spector is the mind behind The Wall of Sound and countless massive hits in the industry's history. But four weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, he lost the battle, TMZ reports.

The music producer, who got sentenced to 19 years to life for the second-degree murder of Lana Clarkson, was initially transferred to a hospital, where he recovered to the degree that he went back to prison.

Phil Spector appears in Alhambra Superior Court for his arraignment on one count of murder November 20, 2003, in Alhambra, California. | Source: Getty Images.

Phil Spector appears in Alhambra Superior Court for his arraignment on one count of murder November 20, 2003, in Alhambra, California. | Source: Getty Images.

However, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the 81-year-old relapsed, and he was transferred back to the hospital, where he died on Saturday.

Born to set music trends for years to come, Spector wrote his first hit, "To Know Him is To Love Him" by the Teddy Bears while still in high school. Thereafter, he churned out one hit after another.


Despite his musical genius, Spector struggled with emotional issues.

He was responsible for classics such as "Unchained Melody," "You Lost that Lovin' Feeling," and "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, to name a few. Still, Spector also had a long-running association with The Beatles.

However, behind the fame lurked personal demons that first showed in his marriage to "The Ronettes" front-woman, Ronnie, for six years from 1968, alongside his relationships with other women.


Spector would go on to produce "Let It Be," The Beatles' last album, and he continued to work with John Lennon when he went solo, producing songs like the famous "Imagine," and "Instant Karma."

Spector claimed that Clarkson "kissed the gun."

Despite his musical genius, Spector struggled with emotional issues that led to depression, substance abuse, and violence. Ronnie called Spector abusive, and she was not the only woman to do so.


"I have devils inside that fight me. And I'm my own worst enemy," Spector reportedly said in his last interview before going to prison in 2003 for the murder of the actress, Lana Clarkson.

Initially, Spector claimed that Clarkson "kissed the gun," which caused it to fire, but four women testified during his trial that the music producer would threaten them with guns if they didn't agree to his requests.


According to The Daily Mail, the California Department of Corrections confirmed that Spector died from natural causes. A medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause.

The Beatles band member John Lennon was also famously shot and killed in 1980, and the tragedy still makes the band's other members emotional forty years later.

On the 40th anniversary of Lennon's death, Paul McCartney said that he is still trying to process his bandmate and close friend's sudden death, thinking that he might still be in denial to some extent.

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