The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - Ellie Greenwich, who wrote such classic pop songs as "Chapel of Love," ”River Deep, Mountain High" and "Be My Baby" with Phil Spector, died Wednesday. She was 68.
Greenwich died of a heart attack at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York, where she had been admitted a few days earlier to treat her pneumonia, said niece Jessica Weiner.
Greenwich, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was considered one of pop's most successful songwriters. She had a rich musical partnership with the legendary Spector, but he wasn't her only collaborator.
She also had key hits with her ex-husband Jeff Barry, including dynamic song "Leader Of The Pack" (years later, Broadway would stage a Tony-nominated musical based on her life with the same name).
Greenwich was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and while she garnered her greatest success as a songwriter, initially started out as a performer in her own right. By the time she was a teen, she had her own group, called The Jivettes.
She got her break working for songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. She had her first chart success with the Jay and the Americans song "This Is It," which she wrote with Doc Pomus and Tony Powers.
Besides her work with Spector, Greenwich also worked as an arranger and singer, a role that saw her working with artists including Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.