Convicted murderer and revolutionary producer Phil Spector died Saturday at the age of 81. Spector was known for producing a massive collection of hit records beginning in the 1960’s and for his groundbreaking “wall of sound” technique. He was serving his sentence for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson at the time of his death.
“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,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed in a statement. ” His official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.”
After producing hits by the likes of The Crystals, Gene Pitney, Darlene Love, The Ronettes and The Righteous Brothers in the 1960s, Spector went on to work with Ike and Tina Turner, Leonard Cohen, The Ramones and The Beatles. He produced the Beatles’ Let It Be album and co-produced John Lennon’s Imagine album.
Spector’s legacy was eclipsed by personal controversy, which culminated in the murder of Clarkson in 2003. In 2007, Spector’s trial began in Los Angeles, but a hung jury forced a mistrial. He was eventually convicted of second-degree murder in a retrial. Spector began his sentence in June 2009.