Legendary music producer Phil Spector has died at the age of 81

Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who was later convicted of murder, has died. He was 81.

Hunting officials in California said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital.

Spector was convicted in 2003 of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at her castle-like mansion on the outskirts of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years in life.

Clarkson, the star of “Barbarian Queen” and other B-movies, was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mountain mansion overlooking the Alhambra, a modest suburban town on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Until the actress’ death, which Spector claimed was an “accidental suicide”, few residents even knew that the mansion belonged to the withdrawn producer, who spent his remaining years in a prison hospital east of Stockton.

Decades earlier, Spector had been hailed as a visionary for channeling Wagner’s ambition into the three-minute song, creating “Wall of Sound” that combined lively vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop monuments as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” my baby “and” He’s a rebel. ”

He was the rare self-conscious artist in the early years of rock and cultivated an image of mystery and power with his dark nuances and impassive expressions.

Tom Wolfe described him as “the teenager’s first tycoon.” Bruce Springsteen and Brian Wilson openly replicated his grandiose recording techniques and wide-ranging romance, and John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.”

The secret of his sound: an exaggerated onslaught of instruments, vocals and sound effects that changed the way pop recordings were recorded. He called the result “Small Symphonies for the Children.”

(AP)