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Bobby Rogers, an original member of Motown staple The Miracles, passed away at his Detroit area home early Sunday morning after battling a long illness. He was 73.

Smokey Robinson announced the news on Sunday.

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“Another soldier in my life has fallen,” Robinson said in a statement. “Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend. He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”

Rogers was one of the original members of the Miracles, the Motown hit group that included Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Claudette Rogers.

Claudette, another member of the Miracles, said that while Rogers was her cousin, he was more “like a brother to me.” On her website, she said he died about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

“Bobby will be missed and mourned by many,” said Robinson, who was once married to Smokey Robinson and serves as the Miracles spokeswoman. “Rest in peace, my brother of ‘song.’ ”