Phil Spector, music producer and convicted murderer, dead at 81

Legendary music producer Phil Spector has died while still serving 19 years-to-life for murder, officials announced Sunday.

The Bronx-born “Wall of Sound” producer was 81.

California state prison officials said he died at 6:35 p.m Saturday of natural causes after being taken to “an outside hospital.”

While officials said the cause of death would be “determined by the medical examiner” at a later date, sources told TMZ that he died of complications from COVID-19.

He was first hospitalized with a coronavirus infection four weeks ago, before returning to prison — but died Saturday after being rushed back to a hospital that day after struggling to breathe, the outlet said.

Spector was convicted in 2009 of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. 

The B-movie actress had been found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mansion — which he maintained was an “accidental suicide.”

After a 2007 mistrial, Spector was retried in 2009 and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

It was a shocking downfall for the producer hailed as a visionary whom John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.”

His revolutionary “Wall of Sound” — merging vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements — produced 20 top 40 hits between 1961 and 1965.

They started with famed pop songs such as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby” and “He’s a Rebel,” then led to him working with the Beatles on “Let It Be,” as well as Leonard Cohen, the Righteous Brothers and Ike and Tina Turner.

His violence also emerged in the studio, with shocking stories of him threatening his superstar acts.

He was accused of having fired a gun into a studio while working with Lennon, and also and once holding Leonard Cohen’s head during sessions for “Death of a Ladies’ Man.”

New York rockers The Ramones also said he held them hostage at gunpoint while recording of their album “End of the Century.”