NEW: "Bobby will be missed and mourned by many," his cousin and fellow group member says
Rogers was one of the original Miracles, a cornerstone group of Motown
Rogers was "my brother," singer Smokey Robinson says
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012
Bobby Rogers, an original member of Motown staple The Miracles, has died, the group’s longtime front man Smokey Robinson announced Sunday.
Rogers was 73.
“Another soldier in my life has fallen,” Robinson said in a statement. “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. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”
Claudette Robinson, another member of the Miracles, said that while Rogers was her cousin, he was more “like a brother to me.” On her website, she said he died about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
“Bobby will be missed and mourned by many,” said Robinson, who was once married to Smokey Robinson and serves as the Miracles spokeswoman. “Rest in peace, my brother of ‘song.’ “
Robinson, Rogers and the rest of the Miracles were a cornerstone act for writer-producer Berry Gordy’s infant Motown Records, putting songs such as “Shop Around,” “Tracks of My Tears” and “The Tears of a Clown” on the R&B and pop charts throughout the 1960s. After Robinson left the group, the Miracles had a No. 1 hit with “Love Machine” in 1976.
When the group disbanded in the late 1970s, Rogers started an interior design business. The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.