Ronnie Spector, leader of The Ronnettes singing group, dead at 78

She died "peacefully" after battling cancer.
Ronnie Spector, California, 2017
Ronnie Spector, California, 2017
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM

Musician Ronnie Spector, leader of The Ronnettes and voice behind 1960s hits such as "Be My Baby," passed away Wednesday at the age of 78. 

Her family released a statement saying Spector "peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer. She was with family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan." 

"Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face.  She was filled with love and gratitude," her family stated. "Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her."

Ronnie Spector was briefly married to record producer and convicted murderer Harvey Spector from 1968 to 1974.

Musician and producer Steven Van Zandt made a tribute on Twitter to Spector: "It was an honor to Produce her and encourage her to get back on stage where she remained for the next 45 years."

Her family requests privacy at this time and asks for donations to be made in her honor to local women’s shelters or to the American Indian College Fund.