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Legendary music producer Phil Spector died while serving 19 years in prison for murder, authorities announced Sunday.
California state prison officials said he died at 6:35 p.m. M. From Saturday due to natural causes after being taken to “an external hospital”.
While officials said the cause of death would be “determined by the coroner” at a later date, sources told TMZ that he died of complications from COVID-19.
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He was first hospitalized with a coronavirus infection four weeks ago
He was first hospitalized with a coronavirus infection four weeks ago, before returning to prison, but died on Saturday after being taken back to a hospital that day after having trouble breathing, the outlet said.
Spector was convicted in 2009 of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at her castle-like mansion outside of Los Angeles.
The B-movie actress had been found shot to death in the lobby of Spector’s mansion, which he claimed was an “accidental suicide.”
After a mistrial in 2007, Spector was tried again in 2009 and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison.
It was a shocking fall for the producer hailed as a visionary whom John Lennon called “the greatest record producer of all time.”
His groundbreaking “Wall of Sound,” which fuses vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements, produced 20 top 40 hits between 1961 and 1965.
They started with famous pop songs like “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “Be My Baby” and “Is a Rebel”, then they brought him to work with the Beatles on “Let It Be” as well as with Leonard Cohen, the Righteous Brothers and Ike and Tina Turner.
His violence also emerged in the studio, with shocking stories of him threatening his superstar acts.
He was accused of having fired a gun at a studio while working with Lennon, and also, and once, holding Leonard Cohen’s head during the “Death of a Ladies’ Man” sessions.
New York rockers The Ramones also said he held them hostage at gunpoint while they recorded their album “End of the Century.”