Controversial music producer Phil Spector has died from COVID-19 related complications at the age of 81.
Spector, who is serving a 19-year jail sentence for shooting dead actress and hostess, Lana Clarkson at his LA mansion in 2003, was diagnosed with Covid-19 four weeks ago and was transferred from his prison cell at California Health Care Facility in Stockton to a hospital.
He recovered enough to return to jail but he relapsed and struggled with breathing and returned to a hospital where he died on Saturday, Jan 16, according to TMZ.
The California Department of Corrections confirmed his passing after he was pronounced dead of natural causes at 6.35pm Saturday.
A medical examiner will determine his exact cause of death.
Phil’s ex-wife Ronnie Spector took to Facebook to share a photo of them together while mourning him.
She wrote: “It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me.
“When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days.
“Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale.
“The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.
“As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband.
“Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio.
“Darkness set in, many lives were damaged.
“I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.
“Phil Spector 1939-2021.”
Spector was jailed for murdering Clarkson around 5 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2003, after she agreed to accompany him to his suburban mansion from her job as a hostess at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip.
During his trial, Spector’s attorneys argued that Clarkson was depressed over a recent breakup and grabbed a 38-caliber pistol to kill herself while at Spector’s home.
But prosecution witnesses painted Spector as a gun-toting menace. Five women took the stand and claimed he had threatened them with firearms. His driver testified that he heard a loud noise and saw the producer leave the home, pistol in hand, saying, “I think I killed somebody.
He was later found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison.