Bobby Rogers, a founding member of The Miracles, is dead at the age of 73. Rogers collaborated on songs with Smokey Robinson.
The Motown favorite had been ill for several years. Allen Rawls, a board member for the Motown Museum, announced the death, saying that Rogers passed away around 6 am in his suburban Detroit home.
Rogers formed The Miracles with his cousin, Claudette Rogers, as well as Pete Moore, Ronnie White, and Smokey Robinson. They enjoyed several hits, including “The Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Shop Around,” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.”
CNN reports that Robinson released a statement on Sunday about Bobby Rogers’ death, saying:
“Another soldier in my life has fallen. Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend. He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit.”
Claudette added that everyone was drawn to her cousin’s personality. CBS News notes that she recalled:
“He was personable, approachable and he loved talking to the women, loved talking to the guys, loved to sing, loved to perform. That was the joy of his life.”
The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, but Bobby Rogers was too ill to attend the ceremony. Along with his work in the Motown group, Rogers also shared songwriting credits with Robinson on some of The Temptations‘ songs. They include “The Contours,’ “First I Look at the Purse,” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do.”
Smokey Robinson left The Miracles in 1976, right before the group enjoyed their first No. 1 hit, “Love Machine,” in 1976. The group disbanded in the late 1970s and Bobby Rogers went on to become an interior designer. Rogers’ voice can also be heard on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”
Funeral arrangements for Bobby Rogers will go through James H. Cole Home for Funerals in Detroit.