Ronnie Spector 'a hero' to Amy Winehouse
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Ronnie Spector was a hero to Amy Winehouse.

The Ronettes singer died earlier this week at the age of 78 "after a brief battle with cancer" and Amy's collaborator Mark Ronson revealed Ronnie was an inspiration to the late star.

He tweeted: "This might be not be a huge surprise to anyone but Ronnie Spector was a hero to Amy Winehouse. 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 Amy's death in 2011 at the age of 27, Spector paid tribute to her with a cover of Amy's 'Back To Black' with all proceeds going to the Daytop Village treatment facility for drug addiction.

She said at the time: "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."

Ronnie passed away "in the arms" of her husband and manager Jonathan Greenfield, a family statement confirmed during the week.

The statement posted to RonnieSpector.com read: "Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, 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 joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her.

"In lieu of flowers, Ronnie requested that donations be made to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund.

"A celebration of Ronnie’s life and music will be announced in the future.

"The family respectfully asks for privacy at this time."

Ronnie's passing came almost a year to the day that her ex-husband, infamous music producer Phil Spector, passed away aged 81.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was married to Phil - who was serving a 19-year sentence in prison for the murder of Lana Clarkson at the time of his death - between 1968 until 1974.

This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.

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