American music producer Phil Spector died at the age of 81. An eccentric artist who collaborated with The Beatles, among others, was serving a 19-year prison sentence for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
The death of the manufacturer was confirmed by the California Social Rehabilitation Office. “Inmate Phillip Spector died of natural causes on Saturday, January 16 at 6:35 PM (3:35 PM EST). The exact cause of death will be determined by a forensic physician in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office,” the release said.
Spector died at the age of 81. While most sources say that he was born in 1940, the court records following his arrest mention 1939. His lawyer confirmed this date to the AP agency.
Creator of the “wall of sound”
Spector was just 17 years old when his group The Teddy Bears recorded their first hit, a ballad written and produced by Spector that became a pop classic, To Know Him is to Love Him.
Later he started working with outstanding musicians Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. He also worked with The Beatles. Eventually he found his niche in production. For a time he had his own production company, Philles Records, with Lester Sill, in which he developed his own sound.
Spector was called a visionary for creating a “wall of sound” that combined captivating vocal harmonies with orchestral arrangements. The result was such pop classics as “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “Be My Baby” and “He’s Rebel”. Bruce Springsteen and Brian Wilson openly duplicated his recording techniques and John Lennon called him “the greatest music producer of all time”.
In the mid-1970s, Spector withdrew from the music industry. He has appeared from time to time to work on special projects, including Leonard Cohen’s album “Death of a Ladies’ Man” and “End of the Century” by The Ramones. In the 2013 film, Spector was played by Al Pacino.
Convicted of the murder of an actress
In 2009, Spector was sentenced to life in prison after 19 years for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his residence on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ROBYN BECK