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Phil Spector

Biography

Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector (born Harvey Phillip Spector, December 26, 1939) is an American record producer, songwriter, and the originator of the Wall of Sound production method. At the height of his career, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound, and produced more than twenty-five Top 40 hits from 1960 to 1965, writing or co-writing many of them. In later years, he gained infamy as the subject of two trials for murder and a second-degree conviction.

Spector is often called the first auteur among musical artists for acting not only as a producer, but also the creative director, writing or choosing the material, supervising the arrangements, conducting the vocalists and session musicians, and masterminding all phases of the recording process. He helped pave the way for art rock, and helped inspire the emergence of aesthetically-oriented genres such as dream pop, shoegaze, and noise. Among his famous girl groups were the Ronettes and the Crystals; later working with artists including Ike and Tina Turner, John Lennon and the Ramones with similar acclaim. He produced the Beatles' album Let It Be (1970), and the Grammy Award-winning Concert for Bangladesh (1971) by former Beatle George Harrison. His influence has been claimed by contemporary performers such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and The Velvet Underground alongside latter-day record producers such as Brian Eno and Tony Visconti.

For his contributions to the music industry, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 as a nonperformer. In 1997, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The 1965 song You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', produced and co-written by Spector for the Righteous Brothers, is listed by BMI as the song with the most U.S. airplay in the 20th century. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #63 on their list of the "Greatest Artists of All Time". Spector-produced albums that have ranked within Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" include Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (1964), A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (1963), and Back to Mono (1991).

In 2009, Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home. He is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.

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