Country singer Charlie Robison dies

September 12, 2023

Country singer and songwriter Charlie Robison, known for his rough Texas sound, has died. He was just 59.

The "My Hometown" singer died from cardiac arrest at a hospital in San Antonio. His heartbroken wife, Kristen Robison, confirmed the sad news.

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that my husband, Charlie Robison has passed away today, surrounded by his family and friends. My heart is broken. Please pray for me, our children and our family."

Charlie Robison dies

An icon in his home state, Robison never chased mainstream success, rejecting the slick Nashville sound for a rootsy Texas style inspired by the likes of Willie Nelson. He had one top 40 hit, "I Want You Bad," off the album Step Right Up.   

Some of his other popular songs include "My Hometown," "New Year's Day," and a cover of the Keith Gattis tune "El Cerrito Place," which was later recorded by Kenny Chesney. Country legend George Strait was among those who paid tribute to Robison.

"So sad we lost Charlie Robison yesterday. God Bless all of the Robison family. He brought so much great music to the great state and others. Rest in Peace my friend. gs," Strait wrote.

Famed Fort Worth honky tonk Billy Bob's, where Robison performed many times, also paid tribute.

Texas icon

Robison came from a musical family: his brother Bruce Robison and sister Robyn Ludwick are both songwriters. Ludwick said her brother "passed away in the arms of his loved ones."

Born in Houston and raised on his family's ranch in Bandera, Texas, Charlie Robison began his musical career playing in country bands in Austin. His 1996 debut album, Bandera, was named after his hometown.

Robison was a judge for one season on the USA Network reality series Nashville Star. He retired from music in 2018 after a throat surgery that left him unable to sing, but he had recently returned to performing.

He was married twice, first to Emily Strayer of the Chicks, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks. They divorced in 2008. Their relationship inspired the Chicks' song "Cowboy Take Me Away."

Robison is survived by his wife, Kristen Robison, and four children and stepchildren.

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