Billy Joel mourns the passing of Ronnie Spector

Billy Joel mourned the death a day earlier Thursday of singer Ronnie Spector, whose 1960s song “Be My Baby” influenced his own hit “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.”

“The great Ronnie Spector has passed away. So many faces in and out of my lifeā€¦,” Joel said in a statement to Newsday, quoting a line from his song. “We mourn her passing.”

In the 2004 book “In Their Own Words: Songwriters Talk about the Creative Process”, Joel recalled that in “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” – a song on his 1976 album “Turnstiles” that became a number 17 hit with a live version. five years later – “I thought of Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes when I did it. And she really did”, and recorded her own version with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band in 1977.

During college lectures, Hicksville-raised Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joel has reportedly described “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” as a tribute to both “Be My Baby” and the famous “wall of sound” heard in that and others. works produced by Phil Spector, whom Ronette’s frontwoman Veronica “Ronnie” Bennett would later marry and divorce.

Joel in his song “pays tribute to Ronnie’s vibrato and mimics it when he uses the … [word] “boulevard,” according to, adding that he “met Ronnie a few times over the years, but only after he wrote the song.” especially for me by Billy Joel, and it really said what I was doing, leaving Hollywood.”

Meanwhile, fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett, who has lived in Long Beach since the 1970s, tweeted Wednesday: “Our dear friend Ronnie Spector has passed away. She was the sweetest person you could ever know. And her stamp on rock and roll is indelible.”

Spector, also an inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died Wednesday at the age of 78. In addition to The Ronettes’ No. 2 hit “Be My Baby” of 1963, Spector sang the lead role on “Baby, I Love You,” “Walking in the Rain” and other hits, continuing a prolific career into the late 2010s


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