Phil Spector, the trailblazing record producer and creator of pop’s “wall of sound”, whose career was later tarnished when he murdered actress Lana Clarkson, has died at the age of 81, according to the TMZ website.The site reported that Spector died on Saturday from COVID-19 related complications.Spector is regarded to be among the most influential figures in pop music history. began his career in 1958 as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist of the Teddy Bears, penning their US number-one single "To Know Him Is to Love Him". Throughout the 1960s, he wrote, co-wrote, or produced records for acts such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, and Ike & Tina Turner. He typically collaborated with arranger Jack Nitzsche, engineer Larry Levine, and a de facto house band that later became known as "the Wrecking Crew". Spector initially retired from the music industry in 1966.In 1969, Spector returned to his career and subsequently produced the Beatles' album Let It Be (1970), as well as several solo records by the band's John Lennon and George Harrison. He became increasingly eccentric and erratic in his professional and social life (one time brandishing a pistol at a Lennon recording session) and essentially faded from public view in the 1970s.His chart-toppers included "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (co-written and produced for the Righteous Brothers, 1964), "The Long and Winding Road" (produced for the Beatles, 1970), and "My Sweet Lord" (produced for Harrison, 1970). According to BMI, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is the song that received the most US airplay in the 20th century.Dubbed the "First Tycoon of Teen", Spector's records helped engender the role of the studio as an instrument and the integration of pop art aesthetics into music. The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson said he was greatly influenced by Spector when creating his band's sound.Spector's multi-artist compilation album A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963) is widely considered to be the finest Christmas record of all time. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. After spending three decades in semi-retirement, in 2009, he was convicted for the 2003 murder of Clarkson. He was serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life at the time of his death.