Ronnie Spector, who appeared on Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight" to sing a part of "Be My Baby," paid tribute to Money in a heartbreaking statement on Twitter Friday. Specter thanked the singer for introducing her work to a whole new generation with the song. Money died Friday morning after a battle with state 4 esophageal cancer.
"Eddie's voice was soulful Rock & Roll, I just loved it," Spector, 76, wrote. "That's really why we got together in the first place. I loved his voice, he loved him. He introduced me to a whole new generation of fans in the 1980s with our recording and video of 'Take Me Home Tonight.'"
Specter continued, "Working in the studio with Eddie was way different from any other sessions I've been involved in. He had a crazy, great sense of humor, and was a real character, with the kind of positive vide that we don't see today, but we sure could use more of. Eddie brought joy to a lot of people with his music and performing, and he never stopped. My heart is with his wife Laurie and their children. Rest gently, Eddie."
When "Take Me Home Tonight" was released in 1986, the song not only revived Money's career after years of low sales, but Specter's as well. The song included the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" in the chorus, but instead of just using the original recording, Money asked Spector to re-record the song's famous hook. At the time, Specter was mostly retired from the music industry.
In a 2015 interview with Hippo, Money said Specter was apprehensive about doing it, since it would mean reliving her time with Phil Spector.
"I said, 'Ronnie, I got this song that's truly amazing and it's a tribute to you. It would be so great if you came out and did it with me,'" Money recalled. "When she got there, she didn't even remember it; she had a mental block against Spector. But then she came out and did the song. She was even better on a cheap bottle of wine and some crappy grass, I gotta tell you."
When Spector and the Roneettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, Spector thanked Money. He called that "one of the greatest things in my career."
"Take Me Home Tonight" was nominated for the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy, but lost to another iconic '80s hit, Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love."
Money's family said the singer-saxophonist died early Friday morning.
"The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning," the family statement reads. "It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music."
Money was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer last fall, but did not publicly announce the diagnosis until August.
Money is survived by his wife Laurie and their five children, Jesse, Joseph, Zachary, Desmond and Julian. His other hits include "Baby Hold On," "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Shakin.'"
Photo credit: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images