- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Bobby Rogers, who was a founding member of The Miracles singing group, has died on Sunday.
The Miracles were formed in the 1950s with Motown Records and was comprised of Smokey Robinson, Ronnie White, Pete Moore, and the quintet's only female voice as well as Rogers' first cousin, Claudette Rogers.
Rogers died at his home in suburban Detroit after a lengthy illness, his family told the Detroit Free Press. He was 73 years old.
"My cousin, Robert 'Bobby' Rogers, who was like a brother to me, lost his battle and succumbed," Claudette Rogers, who was previously married to Smokey Robinson, 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. "People always commented on the tall one with the glasses."
Smokey Robinson also paid his respects to the late soul singer.
"Another solider in my life has fallen," said the singer, who was born in the same Detroit hospital just hours apart from Rogers on Feb. 19, 1940, according to Reuters.
"Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend," added Robinson. "I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much."
Rogers was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Miracles were Motown Records' first signed act, and their hits include "The Tears of a Clown," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," and "I Second That Emotion," among many others.
Many of Rogers' fans took to social media sites with tributes to the singer on Monday, including posts from famed critic Roger Ebert.
"Bobby Rogers, RIP," started the Chicago-based film critic. "Leader of the Miracles, he was there at the birth of Motown."
"So sorry to see another legend leave us," wrote SoulTracks. "R.I.P. Bobby Rogers of the Miracles."
It is unclear if Rogers' wife, Joan Hughes, is still living. The singer and songwriter shared four children with his first wife, Wanda Young.