(CelebrityAccess) – The Detroit Cobras have lost their lead singer, co-founding member and pianist, Rachel Nagy at the age of 51, as reported by the band on social media. Nagy passed away on Friday and cause of death has yet to be announced.
Detroit Cobras guitarist, Greg Cartwright posted a heartfelt message via Instagram.
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we announce the loss of our beloved friend and musical colleague, Rachel Lee Nagy. There are no words to fully articulate our grief as we remember a life cut short, still vital and inspirational to all who knew and loved her. With the Detroit Cobras Rachel Nagy carried the torch of Rock, Soul and R&B to fans all over the world,” he continued. “More than just a performer, she embodied the spirit of the music itself and vaulted it to new heights with her own deeply affecting vocal power. I know that I am not alone when I say that I was inspired by her vitality, her fierce intensity and her vulnerability.” He ended the post with, “Please know that if you are as devastated by this news as we are, you are not alone. We are with you in your grief.”
The Cobras formed in the early 90’s and released their first album, “Mink, Rat or Rabbit” in 1998. After another release in 2001, they were signed to Indie/Garage staple, Rough Trade Records. They released their last album, “Tied & True” in 2007 but still continued to play live shows. In 2016. Third Man Records, owned by White Stripes’ front man, Jack White picked them up and reissued their first two albums.
Nagy, bottle-blonde, tattooed, brash and non-apologetic added an edge to the band as they covered R&B and soul tracks with a natural, raspy voice that had no voice training. Nagy worked as a stripper and a butcher before heading up the band, as reported by Metro Times. Her rough edges were apparent in an interview with Metro Times in 2007. “There definitely was a point when we were insane, and I was definitely insane,” she told the paper. “I would drink and I would punch the first person I meant to say hello to. After a while it’s time to grow up — that shit ain’t cute anymore.” Nagy also opened up in the book, Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in America’s Loudest City by Steve Miller. “Jack White is the only person in this whole scene that I’m glad he has made it. He is ambitious, he’s clever, and he lifted up everybody in Detroit. Every interview he did, he lifted everybody up, including us.”
They had a string of dates on their website for 2022. Bobby Harlow of the Go compared her to another fallen rock star in Detroit Rock City.
“Rachel is Amy Winehouse, but she’s like the dangerous version. Amy Winehouse was tragic but was, like, this, can’t walk straight, and she’s singing, she’s a wreck. Well, Rachel will kick your f-cking ass. You know she’s real dangerous, really out of control. And check out Winehouse’s tattoos — same place as Rachel’s.”
As dangerous as Nagy may have been, she now joins Winehouse – two female singers gone way before their time. Nagy is survived by brother, Tony Nagy and her mother, Marge Nagy.