Pop superstar Cher admits she was not shocked when Phil Spector ended up in prison because his early life was so troubled.

Spector was jailed for 19 years-to-life in 2009 after being found guilty of fatally shooting the actress Lana Clarkson at his home in 2003.

Now Cher, who worked as a back-up singer for Spector's acts The Righteous Brothers and The Crystals in his 1960s heyday, has broken her silence about the producer's incarceration, hinting he was on a path to destruction because of his bizarre family history.

She tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I was surprised but I wasn't shocked (after the murder conviction). It's so sad but his parents were first cousins and his sister was in an asylum, so he had a troubled life, but he was a genius. Watching him make records was amazing - the talent he had."

However, the singer won't allow Spector's demise to tarnish her memories of her early days in the studio: "Singing back-up on The Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' was fun to do. It was a brilliant song and Phillip (Spector) kept saying, 'Cher, back up, back up', because my voice cut through. I remember (Beach Boys star) Brian Wilson came to hear it and I was the only girl on the session."