But soon she left music, and for much of her adult life Ms. Bennett struggled with mental illness; she was also homeless for a time, her daughter said. Ms. Bennett, who died last week, struggled with anorexia and schizophrenia, and was sometimes homeless. Bennett attended George Washington High School in Manhattan where she was valedictorian. With their short skirts, heavy makeup and enormous towers of Aquanet-steadied hair, the Ronettes were New York’s sassy, street-smart variation on the virginal girl-group model. From left, Estelle Bennett, Ronnie Spector and Nedra Talley Ross in New York in 2007 at the Ronettes induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She married the group's road manager, Joe Dong, and they had a daughter, Toyin. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, the trio reinvented themselves as the Ronettes. It was reported that, during a visit to fellow former Ronette Nedra Talley, she slept through her own baby daughter's crying. When she brought her infant daughter to visit, Ms. Talley Ross said, she slept straight through the baby’s crying. She made several failed attempts at a solo career, and when Ronnie Spector, who divorced Mr. Spector in 1974, formed a new version of the Ronettes in the early ’70s it did not include either of her former band mates. She was found on Wednesday in her apartment by a friend, after family members had been unable to reach her for several days, said her daughter, Toyin Hunter. “I’m Estelle of the Ronettes. , Bennett dated musicians Mick Jagger and George Harrison.  Her mental health deteriorated in the following years. “I want to know who my mother was,” Ms. Hunter, 37, said in an interview. Photo of the Ronettes on the sleeve for their 1964 single, "Walking in the Rain.". From left, Nedra Talley, Estelle Bennett, Phil Spector and Ronnie Bennett in a Los Angeles recording studio in 1963. Bennett was a member of the girl group The Ronettes, along with her sister Ronnie and cousin Nedra Talley. After several early singles failed to become hits, they signed with Mr. Spector’s Philles label in 1963 and released “Be My Baby” that August. She looked the best she could for somebody who lived on the street. Estelle Bennett (July 22, 1941 – February 11, 2009) was an American singer. Public. 2 and sold two million copies. Along with her sister and their cousin Nedra Talley, she helped redefine rock ’n’ roll femininity. “They cleaned her up and made her look as well as possible. By the time they met Phil Spector and began recording with him in 1963, the Ronettes had their look precisely calibrated. The death of Estelle Bennett, one of the original Ronettes, revealed a post-fame life of illness and squalor that was little known even to many of the group’s biggest fans. They were children of an Irish-American father and African-American/Cherokee mother; they said they were bullied at school because of being light-skinned African Americans. When their grandmother died in 1959, Estelle was shattered, said her cousin, now known as Nedra Talley Ross. In 2007 the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, introduced by Keith Richards. Most of the black entertainers of the ’60s didn’t look like that, but they wanted to be separate from everybody else.”. “From the time I was born she suffered with mental illness; I never really got to know Estelle in a good mental state.”. Her body was discovered on February 11, 2009. Their unpolished but flirty voices, and Ronnie’s breaking “whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh” in “Be My Baby,” have echoed through generations of female rock singers. Bennett and her sister, Veronica (later known as Ronnie Bennett), grew up in New York City. Signed up by 23-year-old Phil Spector, Ronnie was made lead, with Estelle and Nedra as backing. Estelle Bennett. Estelle Bennett - La biographie y compris les photos de l’enfance, du lycée et la première vidéo de télévision + L'ethnicité et vérification gay ou hétéro. Not long after, Ms. Bennett was hospitalized with anorexia, and her grip on reality continued to loosen. Estelle Bennett. I'm Estelle of the Ronettes, thank you." She released a single, “The Year 2000,” which set a vision of nuclear apocalypse to Ronettes-like music, and made a few other recordings. When Bennett was 14, she and her sister Ronnie, and their cousin Nedra Talley started singing together. Studious and interested in fashion, she studied at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology.. The group broke up in 1966, leaving Estelle devastated. Over the next three years the Ronettes released a series of singles that have become classics, including “(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up” and “Walking in the Rain,” though none of the singles after “Be My Baby” reached the Top 20. The three young singers sang backup for Joey Dee, Bobby Rydell and others, and beginning in 1961 began making their own records. She did, however, come back onstage for a final bow with the rest of the Ronettes after the performance of "Be My Baby". Their biggest hits, like “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” embodied the forceful “wall of sound” aesthetic of their producer, Phil Spector, with a simple but reverberant backbeat and swells of strings and vocals. But even in the early days there were signs that Estelle was fragile.
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