Mark Ronson: “Ronnie Spector was a huge hero to Amy Winehouse”

Mark Ronson has recalled how Ronnie Spector was a huge hero to Amy Winehouse in the wake of The Ronettes leader’s death.

The ’60s icon died on Wednesday (January 12) “after a brief battle with cancer”, her family confirmed in a statement. She was 78 years old.

In the wake of Spector’s passing, the likes of Brian WilsonKeith RichardsGene Simmons and Joan Jett took to social media to pay tribute.

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Now, Ronson has also paid his respects and explained that Winehouse was a big fan.

“This might be not be a huge surprise to anyone but Ronnie Spector was a hero to Amy Winehouse,” he wrote. “It’s one of the first things Amy made me listen to before we started working. She was incredible. Thank you Ronnie for the inspiration.”

Following Winehouse’s death in 2011, Spector honoured her with a cover of ‘Back To Black’ with all proceeds going to the Daytop Village treatment centre for drug addiction.

“When I saw her two weeks ago on TV and she was all drugged out, drinking and stuff, I said, ‘Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it! Don’t become like I was 20 years ago! I cleaned up. You gotta clean up!’ And two weeks later, she’s dead. I’m devastated,” Spector told Rolling Stone at the time.

Meanwhile, Ronson, who produced Winehouse’s seminal second album ‘Back To Black’ in 2006, recently expressed regret over the way he treated her while she was at the height of her addiction issues.

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“Obviously, we had our ups and downs, and it was troubling,” Ronson told The Guardian. “I don’t know if I fully loved the way that I behaved around her.”

“When she was going through addiction, I wish I’d been a little bit more upfront or confrontational about it,” he continued. “But I just was like, ‘Ah, she’ll sort it out – she did it already once.’”

BBC Four will air a special 30-minute programme titled Ronnie Spector At The BBC tonight (January 14) at 9pm GMT.

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