Bobby Rogers, co-founder of Motown group the Miracles, dies at 73

Sun Mar 3, 2013 11:15pm EST
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By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Singer Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the hit-making Motown group the Miracles along with Smokey Robinson, died on Sunday in suburban Detroit after a lengthy illness, family members and associates said. He was 73.

Rogers was a tenor in the original Motown lineup of the group that also included Robinson as the lead singer, bass vocalist Warren "Pete" Moore, baritone Ronnie White and the quintet's lone female vocalist, Claudette Rogers.

Claudette Rogers, who became Claudette Robinson after marrying the group's star in 1963 and left the group a year later, was Bobby Rogers' first cousin. She and Smokey Robinson later divorced.

"My cousin, Robert 'Bobby' Rogers, who was like a brother to me, lost his battle and succumbed," she said in a statement issued through the Detroit-based Motown Alumni Association.

"He had a sparkling personality that was loved by everyone," she told the Detroit Free Press newspaper. "People always commented on the tall one with the glasses."

Smokey Robinson, born hours apart from Rogers in the same Detroit hospital on February 19, 1940, saluted his former compatriot in his own statement, saying: "Another soldier in my life has fallen."

"Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend," he said. "I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much."

Billy Wilson, president of the Motown Alumni Association, said Rogers died at his home in Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.   Continued...

Bobby Rogers is pictured as he and the members of the Motown records R&B music group The Miracles were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California in this March 20, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files