Born Victoria Bennett, Spector acted as the lead vocalist for 1960s girl group The Ronettes and is often credited as the “original bad girl of rock and roll”. With their big hair and daring style, The Ronettes provided an edgier alternative to more polished acts like The Supremes.
Their single “Be My Baby” is not just one of the greatest pop songs of all time, but also has deeper roots within the music industry - inspiring The Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby”, Billy Joel’s “Say Goodbye To Hollywood” and providing Cher with her first recording gig as a back-up vocalist.
Spector’s career was largely stifled by her tumultuous relationship with “Wall of Sound” producer Phil Spector. On top of banning her from speaking to the Rolling Stones and touring with The Beatles - out of fear that she’d be unfaithful - Phil kept her prisoner inside of his mansion. He forced her to watch Citizen Kane to remind her that she’d be “nothing without him”, hid her shoes to prevent her from going outside and showed her a gold coffin with a glass lid in his basement, where he promised to kill and display her if she ever left him.
This did not stop her from leaving him. In her 1989 autobiography Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, Spector details how she broke through a glass door with her bare foot to escape her then-husband’s tyranny. She filed for divorce in 1972 and, years later, filed a lawsuit against him with the other original members of The Ronettes for nonpayment of royalties.