American music producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector dies of COVID-19 complications

American music producer Phil Spector died of COVID-19 complications at 81, while serving a prison sentence for murder, according to BBC. 

Spector is known for transforming pop music with his signature “wall of sound” style, and worked with the Beatles, the Righteous Brothers, and the Ronnetes. In 2009, he was convicted of the 2003 murder of Hollywood actress Lana Clarkson. His death was confirmed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. “California Health Care Facility inmate Phillip Spector was pronounced deceased of natural causes at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at an outside hospital. His official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office,” it said.

Spector produced 20 top 40 hits between 1961 and 1965. His production methods have been cited as major influences for artists including the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen. His life was ultimately blighted by drug and alcohol addiction, and he all but retired from the music scene during the 1980s and 1990s.

In February 2003, actress Lana Clarkson was found dead at his house in Alhambra, California with a bullet wound to her head. Clarkson, who was known for her work in the sword-and-sorcery genre and starred in films including Barbarian Queen, had met Spector hours earlier at a nightclub. Spector claimed the shooting happened when Clarkson “kissed the gun” – but his trial heard from four women who claimed Spector had threatened them with guns in the past when they had spurned his advances. Following an initial mistrial, Spector was convicted of second degree murder and given a sentence of 19 years to life.



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