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Murderer and musical magician Phil Spector dies at 81

Obit Phil Spector
This Nov. 19, 2019 booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows Phil Spector. Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, died Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. He was 81. (California Department of Corrections via AP)

Record producer Phil Spector, who created the famed ‘Wall of Sound’ died in a hospital while serving a prison sentence for murder. But Spector’s incredible influence on music lives on.

Spector scored hits with the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Beatles and the Righteous Brothers and was one of the most influential figures in popular music.

Spector initially retired from the music industry in 1966. In 1969, Spector returned to his career and subsequently produced the Beatles’ album Let It Be (1970), as well as several solo records by the band’s John Lennon and George Harrison.

Spector had been serving a prison sentence since 2009 for the murder of Lana Clarkson, a nightclub hostess he took home after a night of drinking in 2003 and then shot her in the mouth during gun play.

The Los Angeles police found her slumped in a chair in the foyer, dead from a single bullet wound to the head.

Nicole Audrey Spector, his daughter, says her dad died of complications from the coronavirus. He was taken to San Joaquin General Hospital on Dec. 31 and intubated in January, she said.