Robert James Smith (born 21 April 1959) is an English musician. He is the lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and principal songwriter of the rock band The Cure, and its only constant member since its formation in 1976. NY Rock describes him as "pop culture's unkempt poster child of doom and gloom," and asserts that some of his songs are a "somber introspection over lush, brooding guitars." Smith's guitar-playing and use of flanging, chorusing and phasing effects put him among the forefront of the gothic rock and new wave genres. He also played guitar in the band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Smith is a multi-instrumentalist, known for his unique stage look, such as teased hair, smudged makeup, and his distinctive voice.