This year’s Brits are set to take place tonight (11 May), with a live ceremony being held in London’s O2 arena.
Ahead of the event, organisers featured a list of obituaries on the official awards website, which included Spector, who died in prison on 16 January while serving a sentence for the murder of actor Lana Clarkson.
Before his murder conviction, Spector was a revered record producer, known for the “wall of sound” recording technique, which produced a dense, layered effect.
The Brit Awards’ obituary reads: “American record producer, songwriter and pioneer of the iconic ‘Wall of Sound’, who will equally be remembered for his conviction for murder of the actress Lana Clarkson.
“Spector collaborated with many of the greats including The Beatles individually and as a band — producing ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Imagine’ — The Righteous Brothers, Leonard Cohen and The Ronettes, and also wrote numerous era-defining songs.”
The decision to include Spector among the several dozen obituaries on its website prompted criticism on social media.
“You could just leave him out, @BRITs,” wrote writer Tracey King, “then when one or two industry men say ‘what about Phil Spector’ you could say “he murdered Lana Clarkson so is therefore unfit for inclusion. Here is the link to a domestic violence charity if you would like to honour her with a donation”.
“Are you f***ing kidding me?” asked someone else.
Tonight’s Brit Awards will not feature an In Memoriam section.
In January, the BBC issued an apology after the headline on the story about Spector’s death described the murderer as “talented but flawed”.