Bobby Rogers, The Miracles co-founder dies

The Miracles Bobby Rogers (r) collaborated on songs with Smokey Robinson (l)

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Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the Motown group The Miracles along with Smokey Robinson, has died in the US aged 73.

The singer, who had been ill for several years, died at his home in Detroit on Sunday.

"Another soldier in my life has fallen. [He] was my brother and a really good friend", Robinson said in a statement.

Rogers formed The Miracles in 1956 with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Robinson.

Their hits included The Tracks of My Tears, Shop Around, You've Really Got a Hold on Me and I Second That Emotion.

"People always commented on the tall one with the glasses," said Claudette Rogers.

"He was personable, approachable and he loved talking to the women, loved talking to the guys, loved to dance, loved to sing, loved to perform. That was the joy of his life."

Marvin Gaye

Rogers' voice can be heard on Marvin Gaye's hit What's Going On, with Rogers saying: "It's just a groovy party, man, I can dig it."

Mary Wilson of The Supremes said that captured his essence.

"If people want to remember him, they should put that record on and listen to Bobby,'' she told the Detroit Free Press newspaper. "That's who he was."

The Miracles grew out of an earlier quintet of high school performers called the Five Chimes that formed in the mid-1950s and changed its name to the Matadors after several line-up changes capped by Claudette Rogers' admission to the group.

The group went on to record Motown's first million-selling hit single, Shop Around.

One of Rogers' most notable vocal contributions with the group was his two-part harmony with Robinson on You've Really Got a Hold on Me, which was later covered by The Beatles.

He also shared song writing credits with Robinson on The Temptations' track The Way You Do The Things You Do, as well as on The Contours' First I Look At The Purse.

Robinson said: "He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.''

Rogers and The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, however he was too ill to attend the ceremony.

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