Bobby Rogers, who helped form the Motown group the Miracles along with Smokey Robinson, died Sunday in Detroit after a lengthy illness, Reuters reports. He was 73.
The Miracles were originally a quintet of high school performers called the Five Chimes that formed in the mid-1950s. They changed their name to the Matadors after several personnel changes, including when Claudette Rogers — Bobby's first cousin and Robinson's later wife — joined as the only female vocalist. Rogers was the tenor of the Miracles, while Robinson was lead vocalist, Warren "Pete" Moore was bass and Ronnie White was the baritone of the group.
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The group then changed their name to the Miracles after signing with Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr.'s record company and recorded Motown's first million-selling single, "Shop Around," in 1960.
The group, which was known in later years as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, spawned 30 Top 40 singles including "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "I Second That Emotion" and "Tears of a Clown." Rogers and Robinson co-wrote several songs, including the Miracles' "Going to a Go-Go" and the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do."
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Additionally, Rogers is also heard on Marvin Gaye's hit "What's Going On" saying the phrase, "It's just a groovy party, man. I can dig it."
Rogers, along with the other members of the Miracles, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. "Another soldier in my life has fallen," Robinson said in a statement. "Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much."
Rogers is survived by his wife, Joan, his four children and his granddaughter Brandi Williams, of the R&B group Blaque.