Photo from Cynthia Robinson’s Facebook
Cynthia Robinson, a co-founding member and trumpeter for Sly and the Family Stone, has died. After being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, the 69-year-old lost her battle with the disease on Monday.
Born in Sacramento, California, Robinson joined Sly Stone’s first band, The Stoners, in the mid-1960s, and later became a member of Sly and the Family Stone. Her voice and horn can be heard on every album recorded from 1967’s A Whole New Thing to 1974’s Small Talk. After the band broke up in 1975, she continued recording with Stone as well as bassist Larry Graham’s Graham Central Station. At various points in her career, Robinson also played with Prince and George Clinton. Along with Jerry Martini and Greg Errico, as well as her daughter with Sly, Sylvette Phunne Stone, she would later perform under the name The Family Stone.
Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the other members of Sly and the Family Stone in 1993, becoming the first first female and first African-American trumpet player ever inducted into the Hall.
Below, read the homage Questlove recently posted to Instagram, followed by some of Robinson’s classic performances with The Family Stone.
“Dance to the Music”:
“Hot Fun in the Summertime”: