BRIT Awards honour record producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector

The late producer's obituary could prove controversial

The BRIT Awards 2021 has included Phil Spector in the obituaries section of its website, replacing the usual In Memoriam section shown during the live awards ceremony.

The tribute to the late producer, which coincides with tonight’s (May 11) awards, may prove controversial. In 2009 Spector was convicted for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He died in January aged 81 while serving a 19-year sentence.

Spector is one of music’s most celebrated producers, recognised for pioneering the “Wall of Sound” recording technique. He worked on several classic albums and songs during his career, from The Beatles‘ ‘Let It Be’ (1970) to The Ronettes‘ ‘Be My Baby’ (1963).

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The BRITS’ obituary to Spector reads: “American record producer, songwriter and pioneer of the iconic ‘Wall of Sound’, who will equally be remembered for his conviction for murder of the actress Lana Clarkson. Spector collaborated with many of the greats including The Beatles individually and as a band — producing ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Imagine’ – The Righteous Brothers, Leonard Cohen and The Ronettes, and also wrote numerous era-defining songs.”

Credit: Getty

Other music stars remembered in this year’s tributes section include Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, Bill Withers and Dame Vera Lynn.

The in-person BRITS is held at London’s O2 Arena tonight, broadcast on ITV1 from 8pm.

There will be an audience of 4,000 people at this year’s ceremony as part of the government’s live events pilot scheme, the Events Research Programme.

Coldplay will open the show with a performance from a platform on the River Thames, and The Weeknd is also set to perform. Jack Whitehall will host the awards ceremony for the fourth consecutive year.

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Taylor Swift is to become the first female recipient of the ceremony’s prestigious BRITs Global Icon award.

Dua LipaArlo Parks and Yungblud are among the acts to be nominated for the BRIT Awards 2021 – see the full list of nominees here.

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