On Sunday, the country music world lost Charlie Robison, a singer and songwriter with a meteoric ascent to fame. Complications from a medical procedure that hindered his voice forced him into early retirement. He was 59.
Robison said he could no longer sing after throat surgery in 2018 and never recovered. So, with a sad heart, I announce my retirement from performing and recording, he said on Facebook.
Robison died at a San Antonio hospital after cardiac arrest and other issues, reported a family member.
Life of the Party and My Hometown are two more of his popular tracks.
Beginning his musical career in Austin, Texas, in the late ’80s with his brother Bruce, he later formed his band, the Millionaire Playboys. Since the early 1900s, his family has owned a ranch in the town of Bandera in the Texas Hill Country, which inspired the title of his 1996 first album.
In 1998, Robison signed with Sony’s Lucky Dog label, which specialized in “rawer” country music. I Want You Bad, his only Top 40 country single, was released from his 2001 album Step Right Up.
Robison was a judge on Nashville Star for a year, a USA Network reality program in which aspiring country music stars lived together and competed for a recording deal.
Robison leaves behind three children and one stepchild. He is survived by his wife, Kristen.
His first wife was Emily Strayer, a groundbreaking country band The Chicks member and the mother of three of his children. In 2008, they called it quits as a couple.
According to a statement from Billy Bob’s, a legendary country music venue in Fort Worth, Texas, “Our hearts are devastated.”
Robison got a tattoo of his Live at Billy Bob’s album cover to commemorate the occasion.
His handprint may also be seen on the handprint wall of fame at Billy Bob’s.