Phil Spector, a convicted murderer and music producer, died on Jan. 16, 2021. Spector “died of natural causes at 6:35 p.m. at an unspecified hospital,” according to NBC News. Spector had been serving a 19-years-to-life sentence at the time of his death.
Spector was sentenced in 2009 for the death of actor Lana Clarkson in 2003. As The Guardian reported at the time, Spector and Clarkson met at a Hollywood club, where she worked as a hostess. Clarkson was found in Spector’s house “with a bullet wound through her mouth,” according to the outlet. As CNN reported in 2009, Spector’s driver testified that he saw the producer holding a gun and saying, “I think I killed somebody,” on the night of Clarkson’s death. Spector was convicted of second-degree murder, though his team argued that Clarkson had died by suicide, The Guardian reported.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation issued a statement on Jan. 17, 2021 about Spector’s death. “California Health Care Facility inmate Phillip Spector, 80, was pronounced deceased of natural causes at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at an outside hospital,” the statement reads. “His official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.”
John Lennon called Phil Spector 'the greatest record producer ever'
Before he was convicted of murder, Phil Spector was known in the music industry for creating the “wall of sound” technique. NBC News explained that the technique “merged vocal harmonies with orchestral arrangements,” and it was used in songs like “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “He’s a Rebel” by The Crystals.
Spector also worked with The Beatles, and at one point, John Lennon called Spector “the greatest record producer ever,” according to the Associated Press. Not all of the Beatles felt the same way as Lennon, though. As AP explained, Paul McCartney wasn’t a fan of Spector’s additions to the Let It Be album.
Spector’s contributions to the music industry can’t be overlooked, but neither can his murder conviction. On Sunday, figures like CNN’s Jake Tapper and comedian Rob Delaney tweeted about Clarkson in the wake of the news of Spector’s death. “This is Lana Jean Clarkson, the actress Phil Spector murdered,” Tapper tweeted. “That is literally all I have to say about Spector and his ‘legacy.'”
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