Robert "Bobby" Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan and was the main lead singer of the legendary Spinners.  The group formed back in 1960 at Ferndale High School  and the orginal members included Bobby, Bill Henderson, Pervis Jackson and Henry Fambrough.

Bobby Smith-youtube

Bobby Smith, was diagnosed with lung cancer in November, and passed away after complications from pneumonia over the weekend at age 76.

Henry Fambrough is the only surviving original member of The Spinners and said of his old friend, "Bobby was a regular, down-to-earth, good-natured person, the kind of guy who’d give you his shirt and ever since I’ve known him, he was just a natural showman."

The Spinners-youtube

Despite his cancer diagnosis, Smith gave a final performance just this past February, on the Soul Train Cruise. His voice was truly unforgettable.

Bobby actually wasn't scheduled to perform on the cruise because of his condition, however he couldn't resist when his band started playing "Then Came You" remembers Jessie Peck, who played in the band during the performance.  Peck said Bobby went out on a strong note. "Like something out of a movie, Bobby shoots right out onstage and the showman that he is grabs a mic and sings right on cue. The audience went bananas."

The Spinners joined Motown in the early 60's but they didn't blow-up till the 70's when they joined Atlantic Records, thanks to the urging of friend Aretha Franklin.  With Atlantic, The Spinners turned out some of the biggest hits of their career, including "I'll Be Around" and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love."

Funeral services for the late great Bobby Smith are scheduled for next Monday in his hometown, Detroit.