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Bobbie Smith, the original lead singer for the legendary soul group The Spinners, has died at age 76.
The Spinners’ manager issued a statement to the Associated Press on Monday, confirming that Smith died on Saturday from complications of pneumonia and influenza. In November, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Smith began his career with Henry Fambrough in 1957, when they first created the group under the name Domingoes. Fambrough and Smith remained the only original members still performing with the group.
Their first big hit was 1961’s “That's What Girls Are Made For” and later joined the legendary Motown label in the 1960s. Their biggest hits came in the 1970s, with tracks like “Could It Be I'm Falling in Love,” “I'll Be Around” and “Games People Play.” They also recorded “Then Came You” with Dionne Warwick. The Spinners’ last hit singles were the early ‘80s tracks “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl” and “Cupid/I've Loved You for a Long Time.”
As EW notes, they continued to perform. In December, Smith told the Naples News, “Our fans are very close to us and we have many who have been in touch with the group for many years—I mean, some that have been in touch with us as long as 40 years.”