Charlie Robison, a country music artist known for his song “I Want You Bad,” has died, according to a statement from his wife shared on Facebook.
“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,” Kristen Robison wrote in a post Sunday.
A family representative told the Associated Press that Robison died at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas after suffering cardiac arrest.
Robison’s sister, fellow musician Robyn Ludwick, also paid tribute in a post on social media.
“My heart is broken in the deepest most irreparable way,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “My big brother Charlie passed away in the arms of his loved ones. Please play some Charlie Robison on Repeat. He would want it that way.”
According to the biography on his website, Robison grew up in Bandera, Texas, where his family owned ranches for eight generations.
“Music wasn’t just a staple around the Robison household; from even before he could walk, Charlie would spend Saturday nights with his parents at The Cabaret, the local C&W dancehall in downtown Bandera. But the fare playing in the family home ran the gamut from rock’n’roll to singer-songwriters and much more,” the bio states. “So it should come as no surprise that Charlie, his brother Bruce and sister Robyn Ludwyck all enjoy respected and critically acclaimed music careers as singers, songwriters and recording and performing artists.”
It was while a student at Southwestern Texas State University (which is now known as Texas State University) when Robison figured out the academic life was not for him, according to his website. He convinced his brother Bruce to drop out of school with him and the pair headed to Austin to pursue their musical dreams.
They both ended up in a band named Chaparral and after stints with Two Hoots and A Holler and The Millionaire Playboys, Robison struck out on his own as a singer and songwriter.
His debut album titled “Bandera” was released in 1996. He signed with Sony’s Lucky Dog label, which released his next two albums, 1998’s “Life of the Party” and 2001’s “Step Right Up,” the latter of which yielded his Top 40 country hit, “I Want You Bad.”
Robison married Emily Strayer, who was a founding member of The Dixie Chicks now known as The Chicks, in 1999. The couple had three children before divorcing in 2008.
Robison and his current wife welcomed a son in 2020.
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His split with Strayer resulted in the break up songs on his 2009 album, “Beautiful Day.”
“When you go through something like this, it results in very fertile writing. It’s very much me, yet a departure from anything I’ve done before,” he said in an interview about the album. “It’s my first relationship-type record … You can really tell where I was emotionally when I wrote it.”
He announced via Facebook in 2018 that he was retiring from performing due to a surgical procedure on his throat that made it no longer possible for him to sing.