Famed music producer Phil Spector has died while serving a 19-year prison sentence for murder. He was 81.
Spector was pronounced deceased from natural causes on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, Calif., where he had been serving his sentence since 2013, four years after his conviction. His official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner in the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.
TMZ, which first reported the news of Spector’s death, said that the producer died from COVID-19-related complications after being diagnosed with coronavirus a month ago. However, prison officials or reps for the producer have not confirmed the report.
In their statement, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also included an updated mug shot of Spector, taken last November. In the photo, the producer, who often wore wigs in the years before his conviction, is bald and smiling.
In 2009, Spector was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of actress Lana Clarkson. He was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison and was eligible for a parole hearing in 2025.