The Crystals’ Barbara Ann Alston Dies

The Crystals
– The Crystals
Barbara Ann Alston (far right) and The Crystals are seen in an ad published in June 1965 by KRLA Beat for the teen club Cinnamon Cinder.

Barbara Ann Alston, who sang lead for the acclaimed girl group The Crystals, died Feb. 16 after being in intensive care for the flu for more than two weeks. 

The 74-year-old died in Charlotte, N.C., where she had lived for more than 30 years, according to the Charlotte Observer. 
Alston handled lead vocals on a handful The Crystals’ singles in 1961 and 1962 including “There’s No Other (Like My Baby),” “Uptown” and “He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss).”  
Producer Phil Spector had Darlene Love and the Blossoms record a few singles under The Crystals’ name, unbeknownst to Alston and the group, including its only No. 1 hit, “He’s a Rebel,” according to Rolling Stone.  
RS included The Crystals in a 2016 piece about “Women Who Could be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” nothing that although Spector’s spotty history with credits muddied The Crystals’ reputation, “the Crystals are responsible for some of the genre’s most-beloved songs – like the pure, swooning expression of joy ‘Then He Kissed Me.’ As one of Spector’s earliest groups, they rocketed the producer to fame and have been cited by Bryan Ferry, Bob Dylan, Martin Scorsese and countless others.”
Dolores “LaLa” Brooks took over as lead by the time “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)” was released in 1963.   
Alston left the lineup in 1965, according to Rolling Stone. She once again shared the stage with the group for a brief 1967 reunion.   
Her funeral was scheduled Friday. Alston is survived by three of her four children, along with five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, according to the Observer.