The Detroit Cobras‘ lead vocalist Rachel Nagy has passed away. The cause of death has not been revealed.
The Cobras, who formed in Detroit in 1994 and released a handful of albums between the late-90s and late-00s, were known for their garage rock covers of soul, doo-wop and R&B classics.
Nagy and guitarist Mary Ramirez were the band’s only constants over the course of their multi-decade career. The Detroit Cobras released albums via the influential indie labels Sympathy For the Record Industry, Rough Trade and Bloodshot. In recent years, they joined the Third Man Records stable; the label founded by the Cobras’ hometown pal, Jack White.
Third Man Records paid tribute to Nagy on Instagram.
In both her voice and personality, Rachel Nagy was the perfect balance of tough badass and absolute sweetheart. From the earliest White Stripes shows at the Magic Stick in Detroit through the Third Man 10th anniversary show in Nashville, Rachel and the Detroit Cobras have been a consistent inspiring presence in our world for nearly 25 years. We will truly miss the sound of her room-filling laughter, her no bullshit honesty, and her true friendship. Rest in power.
Occasional Cobras member Greg Cartwright, of the bands Reigning Sound and The Oblivians, paid tribute to Nagy on the Cobras’ official Facebook page.
With the Detroit Cobras Rachel Nagy carried the torch of Rock, Soul and R&B to fans all over the world. 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. Once plans have been finalized by the family we will post more information regarding further details to memorialize Rachel and pay tribute to her life. Until then, 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. Rachel is survived by her brother Tony Nagy and her mother Marge Nagy.