Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square headliner Ronnie Spector reflects on NYC roots

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The headliner of New York's largest holiday festival, Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square, is sharing her song of survival.

Ronnie Spector's music is a testament to her remarkable tenacity and she has earned the right to sing those words.

"My Dad is Irish and my mother is black and Cherokee Indian," she said.

She soared to fame as a member of "The Ronnettes" in the early 1960s. The Beatles were fans and The Rolling Stones were her opening act. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys even wrote a song for her.

For the baby born Veronica Bennett, it all started at P.S. 152 in Harlem.

"I would do my homework, then I'd sing it to the class: my homework, and the kids loved it," Spector said.

It was in the lobby of her grandmother's building on 140th Street that she first realized the power of her remarkable voice.

She began harmonizing with her sister and cousin and led all three of them to the top of the charts and a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Jawan M. Jackson will introduce Spector when she appears during Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square.
"It's gonna be a great time and I know she's gonna light up the stage. I know she is," Jackson said.

Jackson began his career as a radio personality in Detroit and this is not the first time he's brought Motown to Broadway.

He does eight shows a week as one of the Temptations in "Ain't Too Proud."

But Jackson is happy to be a part of Winter's Eve.

"It's always great to find those things that bring people together, bring New Yorkers together," Jackson said.

Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square gets underway Monday evening after 5 p.m. in Dante Park, on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets.

----------
* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
*Follow us on YouTube
*
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.