Country Singer-Songwriter Charlie Robison Dies at 59, Leaving Rich Texas Legacy


The roots-imbued melodies of Texas singer-songwriter Charlie Robison graced the country charts until an unfortunate medical complication from a throat surgical procedure silenced his voice permanently, leading to an untimely retirement. Robison breathed his last on Sunday, at 59 years of age, succumbing to cardiac arrest and other complications in a San Antonio hospital.

Emerging in the twilight of the 1980s, Robison set the music scene in Austin alight, initially with local bands such as Two Hoots and a Holler until he carved his niche with his band, the Millionaire Playboys. The genesis of his solo career occurred in 1996 with the release of “Bandera,” a homage to the Texas Hill Country town that had been home to his family for generations.

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In 1998, Robison’s raw country sound led to a deal with Sony’s Lucky Dog imprint. His 2001 album, “Step Right Up” proved pivotal as it yielded the only Top 40 country hit of his career, “I Want You Bad.”

The year 2018, however, brought devastating news to his fan base – Robison had lost his singing ability permanently due to complications from a throat surgery, prompting his retirement. Announcing his departure from both stage and studio through a heartfelt Facebook post, Robison rendered an entire community of music lovers saddened and shocked.

Beyond his musical pursuits, Robison held a stint as a judge on USA Network’s reality TV show “Nashville Star,” where contestants lived together in a high-stakes competition for a coveted country music recording contract.

Robison’s personal life was blessed with a loving family. He leaves behind his wife, Kristen Robison, along with four children and stepchildren. Three of those children were born from his first marriage to Emily Strayer, a founder of the celebrated country band, The Chicks. This marriage dissolved in 2008. His music and legacy will continue to live on in their hearts and the hearts of his many adoring fans.