Cynthia Robinson, 71, a trumpeter and vocalist whose bold and brassy style made her a key member of Sly and the Family Stone, has died.
Jerry Martini, her longtime friend and fellow horn player in the band, said Wednesday that he was among those with her when she died of cancer Nov. 23 at her sister's home in Carmichael, Calif.
A Sacramento native, Ms. Robinson joined Sly Stone (the stage name for Sylvester Stewart) and five others in the late 1960s for what became one of the first bands to feature women and men and blacks and whites. Sly and the Family Stone's wide open, funky style helped change popular music and Ms. Robinson's trumpet playing and singing were hard to miss on such hits as "Everyday People," "Hot Fun in the Summertime," and "I Want To Take You Higher."
After the band broke up in the mid-1970s, Ms. Robinson toured with Prince, played with former Sly bassist Larry Graham's Grand Central Station, and, until recently, toured with Martini as part of the Family Stone, which continues to perform.
Sly and the Family Stone was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.