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It is with great sadness that Blind Pig Records announces the passing of singer Robin Rogers at the age of 55.  She died at her home December 17 in Gastonia, North Carolina, where she was being cared for by her husband and musical partner, Tony. Robin Rogers

In August the talented singer and harmonica player was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.  Like most musicians Robin and Tony were without health insurance and depended on touring for their income. For years Robin was always ready to donate her time and performances to a good cause. so it was not surprising that there was an immediate outpouring of love and support from the blues community and her many fans.  Benefits and fundraisers were held around the country to raise money for medical bills and living expenses. 

Rogers was deeply moved by the support, and was also buoyed by the success and critical acclaim for her new CD, Back In The Fire
, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Blues sales chart, where it remains in the top ten.

Blind Pig owner Jerry Del Giudice said, "Robin always struck me as someone who felt she didn't have a moment to spare. She was constantly in motion.  I became aware that her artistry and her integrity were two things she would not compromise and how genuinely she cared about others in need.  She was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly before the release of Back In The Fire.  She told me that although she didn't want to carry this burden, it was hers to carry and she would do the very best she could with every moment she had left.

I read a Russian proverb sometime ago that goes something like this: When you are born you cry while everyone around you laughs.  If you lead a good life, when you die you laugh while everyone around you cries.  I'm sure she's having a well deserved laugh. As we cry we have to remember what a wonderful laugh that was and how sorely it will be missed."

Rogers, winner of the 2009 "Best Female Artist" Blues Blast Award, was announced just this week as a nominee for a Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Blues Female Artist"  by the Blues Foundation.  And just last weekend Robin was featured on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition Saturday," where she told host Scott Simon that despite battling cancer and the effects of chemotherapy, she felt "blessed."  

Music has been Robin Rogers' consuming passion ever since her days as a teenaged street singer. Possessing a deeply expressive and soulful voice and an infectious enthusiasm for the blues, Robin and her band have developed a devoted and growing following. Her Blind Pig debut, “Treat Me Right”, fulfills the promise of her previous two releases, revealing an accomplished artist of rare polish and originality.

In the late sixties when America's youth was "rediscovering the Blues," Robin Rogers was "living the Blues." As a runaway teen trying to escape a troubled home, she made her way to cities like Richmond, Virginia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; and Coconut Grove, Florida. Robin lived the hippie lifestyle of the times, even sharing residence in a commune in Love Valley, North Carolina for one summer, sometimes sleeping in parks, under picnic tables and in abandoned cars. After serving time as a juvenile in reform school for truancy and being out of parental control, she was released at age 15 to begin life on her own. It was a hard life for a young girl, and it wasn't long until Robin was addicted to drugs and alcohol and, thank goodness, to singing!

She eventually learned to play guitar and began accompanying herself. Robin performed on the streets, at parties and coffee houses for food and tips, setting the stage for the emergence of an independent, strong-willed spirit and charismatic singer. After hearing the applause of strangers, she knew she was hooked! Her goal was to make a living performing music, and this she has done for over 30 years. Moving to South Florida in 1979 to record for the Sal Soul Label, a subsidiary of RCA, Robin recorded at the well-known Miami Sound Studios and lived in Ft. Lauderdale for the next ten years performing on a full-time basis.

As fate would have it, Robin became drug and alcohol free in 1989 and began to turn her life around. She moved to North Carolina in 1990, performing in the Southeast area for the next ten years, recording, writing and enjoying music clean and sober for the first time in many years.

Robin got involved with the Charlotte Blues Society in the mid-nineties. Shortly after that, she met and married fellow musician and Blues lover, Tony Rogers. They performed as an acoustic duo, with Tony playing guitar/dobro and Robin on harmonica and percussion. It wasn't too long before she was heard by producer/musician, Jim Brock and was asked to do a CD which was released in 2001 entitled "Time For Myself," a contemporary Blues record which contains six originals penned by Robin and Tony.

They put together a band in support of that release and went on to win the 2003 Charlotte Blues Society's Blues Challenge, winning the right to represent Charlotte, North Carolina in Memphis, Tennessee in January 2004. They competed against 98 acts from all over the world in the International Blues Challenge, sponsored by the Blues Foundation. After three nights of tough competition, Robin Rogers and Her Hot Band emerged as one of only nine finalists in the 2004 International Blues Challenge, which was judged by the industry heavyweights including Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records and Blues recording artist Kenny Neal.

Robin and Tony recorded their long-awaited second release, entitled "Crazy, Cryin' Blues," which was released in 2004 and won the "Best Self-Produced CD" Award from the Blues Foundation as part of the International Blues Challenge 2005. Robin signed with 95North Records in February 2005 and her self-penned "Caddy Daddy" was included on "Fins, Chrome and the Open Road," a Cadillac Tribute CD released in conjunction with 95North and General Motors Corp. Other artists on the disc include Little Milton, Rory Block, Charlie Musselwhite and Maria Muldaur. Robin has shared the stage with greats like Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Carey Bell, Bob Margolin, Shemekia Copland, Tommy Castro, Guitar Shorty, Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers, Cephas and Wiggins, Ann Rabson, Roy Bookbinder, Paul Geremia and Sharrie Williams. She joined the roster of Piedmont Talent in February 2006 and performed in Europe in April 2006.

Robin signed with Blind Pig in 2008, and her debut release for the label, “Treat Me Right”, was issued in June of that year. It’s a showcase for Robin’s stylistic variety and passionate vocal intensity, from the rolling R&B title track to the jazzy “Nobody Stays” to the soulful groove of “Nobody’s Gonna Hurt You.” It also features perhaps Robin’s most powerful composition, "Color-Blind Angel", a moving account of the life and death of white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, who was assassinated by the KKK in 1965. "Color-Blind Angel" won second place in the blues category of the 2007 International Songwriters Competition. Blind Pig Records is truly proud to welcome Robin to its roster.