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Phil Spector, 81, Has Died

Phil Spector (L) listens to the judge during sentencing in Los Angeles Criminal Courts on May 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images)
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Phil Spector, the legendary music producer who was convicted of second-degree murder for the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson, has died.

Spector, 81, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Saturday evening. He was serving a sentence of 19 years to life for Clarkson’s death.

According to prison officials, Spector died of natural causes. However, he tested positive for the coronavirus in the weeks leading up to his death.

Prior to the 40-year-old Clarkson’s death, Spector was known first and foremost as a visionary record producer. He was the creator of a recording technique known as the “Wall of Sound,” which involved layering dozens of musical tracks to build a full, orchestral sound. Spector used the technique on such hits as “Unchained Melody,” “Be My Baby,” and “And Then He Kissed Me.” He also produced George Harrison’s landmark album, “All Things Must Pass.”

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However, Spector struggled with rage and angry outbursts, and his status in the music industry diminished. On the night of Clarkson’s death, friends say Spector — who had a known penchant for firearms — had returned to drinking after a steady stint of sobriety.

Spector’s official cause of death has not yet been determined.