R.I.P. Cynthia Robinson of Sly and the Family Stone

(November 24, 2015) Cynthia Robinson, one of the essential members of the essential 60s funk pioneers, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awarded Sly and the Family Stone, has died at age 69 after a battle with cancer.

Robinson was the trumpeter and frequent vocalist on many of the great hits of that seminal group. Born in Sacramento, she teamed with Stone in the mid 60s and became part of his inner circle of musicians. She herself was a pioneer, a female playing an instrument traditionally associated with male musicians –and boy did she play.

Read our biography of Sly and the Family Stone

(November 24, 2015) Cynthia Robinson, one of the essential members of the essential 60s funk pioneers, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awarded Sly and the Family Stone, has died at age 69 after a battle with cancer.

Robinson was the trumpeter and frequent vocalist on many of the great hits of that seminal group. Born in Sacramento, she teamed with Stone in the mid 60s and became part of his inner circle of musicians. She herself was a pioneer, a female playing an instrument traditionally associated with male musicians –and boy did she play.

Read our biography of Sly and the Family Stone

Robinson continued to work with Sly Stone even after the split of the band in the mid-70s, and she went on to become part of Family Stone bassist Larry Graham’s popular group, Graham Central Station, which had several big R&B hits in the late 70s and early 80s. More than two decades later, in 2006, she helped re-form The Family Stone (without Sly) and continued to play in that traveling group until this year. 

In the annals of R&B pioneers, Cynthia Robinson stands tall for her unquestionable talent and pioneering work as a woman in funk music, but also for her key role in the development of that genre during its golden age. She will be missed.

 

 
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