Country singer dies at 59

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Charlie Robison, the Texas singer-songwriter whose roots anthems made it onto the country charts until he was forced to retire after complications from a medical procedure left him unable to sing could, died on Sunday. He was 59.

According to a family representative, Robison died at a San Antonio hospital after suffering cardiac arrest and other complications.

Robison began his music career in the late 1980s, playing in local Austin bands such as Two Hoots and a Holler before forming his own Millionaire Playboys. In 1996, he released his solo debut, Bandera, named after the Texas Hill Country town where his family has owned a ranch for generations.

Approached by Sony in 1998, Robison signed with his Lucky Dog label, which was dedicated to rougher country music. His 2001 album “Step Right Up” produced his only Top 40 country song: “I Want You Bad.”

FILE – Country artist Charlie Robison poses for a photo in Nashville, Tenn., June 30, 2009. Robison, the Texas singer-songwriter whose roots anthems made it to the country charts until a medical procedure forced him to to retire sing, has died. A family representative said Robison died at a San Antonio hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 59. (AP Photo/Ed Rode, File)

In 2018, Robison revealed that he had permanently lost the ability to sing following surgery on his throat. “Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I am officially retiring from the stage and the studio,” he wrote on Facebook.

Robison served for a year as a judge on USA Network’s “Nashville Star,” a reality television show in which contestants lived together while competing for a country music recording contract.

He is survived by his wife Kristen Robison and four children and stepchildren. Three of his children were married to his first wife, Emily Strayer, a founding member of the superstar country band The Chicks. They divorced in 2008.

Robison’s breakup with Strayer inspired songs on the 2009 album “Beautiful Day.” He recorded it while living across the street from the Greyhound bus stop in San Antonio, in a loft apartment with mismatched furniture and scattered beer bottles, “the epitome of a Bachelor apartment,” he remembers.

“People come up to me and say they’re going through something, and it’s like it’s all written about them,” Robison told The Associated Press in 2009. “I didn’t mean to do that, but it was like that. Residual effect of the recording.”

Robison’s last album, 2013’s rocking “High Life,” featured a cover of Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece.”

Memorial services are pending.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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