Bobbie Smith, original lead singer of legendary soul group the Spinners, has died at the age of 76, according to the Associated Press (via Billboard). A statement issued today by the group’s manager said Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and passed away on Saturday morning due to complications from pneumonia.
Smith was a founding member of the Detroit band who enjoyed success in 1970 with “It’s A Shame” and later in the decade scored a string of hits including the Smith-fronted “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” the Dionne Warwick collaboration “Then Came You,” and “The Rubberband Man.”
The ’70s would prove the Spinners’ commercial zenith but the band continued to perform. “Our fans are very close to us and we have many who have been in touch with the group for many years—I mean, some that have been in touch with us as long as 40 years,” Smith told Naples News last December, publicizing a show in Florida. “Our music has been said to have started relationships and even families.”
You can check out a selection of Spinners tracks below.