Charlie Robison, the beloved Texas singer-songwriter known for his rootsy anthems, has sadly passed away at the age of 59. Robison died at a hospital in San Antonio after suffering cardiac arrest and complications resulting from a medical procedure. His family representative confirmed the news of his passing.
Robison’s music career began in the late 1980s, playing in local Austin bands such as Two Hoots and a Holler. Eventually, he formed his own band called Millionaire Playboys. In 1996, he released his debut solo album titled “Bandera,” named after the Texas Hill Country town where his family has a long-standing ranch. The album showcased Robison’s unique blend of country and rock, setting the stage for his future success.
In 1998, Robison signed with Sony’s Lucky Dog imprint, which focused on raw and authentic country music. This partnership allowed him to reach a wider audience and gave him the opportunity to release his 2001 album “Step Right Up.” The album’s lead single, “I Want You Bad,” became Robison’s only Top 40 country song. It solidified his place in the country music scene and introduced his music to a larger fan base.
Unfortunately, in 2018, Robison shared the heartbreaking news that he had permanently lost his ability to sing due to complications from a surgical procedure on his throat. In a heartfelt message posted on Facebook, he announced his retirement from the stage and studio. This news deeply saddened his fans and the music community, as Robison’s soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics had resonated with audiences for decades.
Aside from his solo career, Robison also had a brief stint as a judge on the reality TV show “Nashville Star” in 2006. The show followed aspiring country musicians as they lived together and competed for a coveted country music recording contract. This experience allowed Robison to share his expertise and mentor young talent within the industry.
Robison is survived by his wife, Kristen Robison, and his four children and stepchildren. Three of his children were from his previous marriage to Emily Strayer, a founding member of the popular country band The Chicks. Despite their divorce in 2008, Robison’s relationship with Strayer served as inspiration for songs on his 2009 album “Beautiful Day.” The album was recorded during a challenging time in his life, as he lived in a modest apartment across from the Greyhound bus station in San Antonio. Robison’s raw and honest songwriting resonated with listeners, who found solace and understanding in his music.
In 2013, Robison released his final album, “High Life,” which featured a cover of Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” The album showcased a rock-infused sound that was a departure from his earlier country sound. It served as a testament to Robison’s versatility as a musician, leaving a lasting impression on his fans.
Memorial services for Charlie Robison are currently pending. His passing is a significant loss for the music world, as his distinctive voice and heartfelt lyrics will be greatly missed. He leaves behind a rich musical legacy that will continue to inspire and resonate with listeners for years to come.