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Robert Clivillés

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Robert Clivillés
Birth nameRobert Manuel Clivillés[1]
Also known asRobi Rob[2]
Born (1964-07-30) July 30, 1964 (age 59)
OriginNew York City, United States
Years active1980–present
Formerly ofClivillés and Cole, C+C Music Factory

Robert Manuel Clivillés (Spanish pronunciation: [kliβiˈʎes]; born July 30, 1964[3]) is an American record producer, songwriter, arranger, and music video director most noted for his work with C+C Music Factory, a group he founded with musical partner David Cole. He is of Puerto Rican ancestry.[3][4][5]

Clivillés and Cole also produced and wrote various hits for other artists such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, James Brown, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Deborah Cooper, Scarlett Santana, and many others.

In 2015, Clivillés made his debut as a solo artist with the song "Set Me Free".[6]

Musical career[edit]

Clivillés was a resident DJ in club Better Days in the late 1980s.[7] David Cole was the resident keyboardist there and the two became firm friends.[7]

In the late 1980s, Clivillés and Cole were active in the groups 2 Puerto Ricans, a Blackman, and a Dominican and the 28th Street Crew.[8][9] At the time, they were the driving force of the short-lived Brat Pack.[10] The duo were also responsible for the formation of pop group Seduction, for whom they wrote and produced a string of top-10 hits. They contributed to the career of former Weather Girls vocalist Martha Wash, who at the same time was one of the lead vocalists for the dance act Black Box. In 1990, Clivillés and Cole released a single featuring later C+C Music Factory rapper Freedom Williams, called "Get Dumb! (Free Your Body)", as The Crew.[11] The duo's biggest success, however, was the group C+C Music Factory, which became a worldwide sensation in 1991.[12]

After the death of his partner David Cole in 1995,[13] Robert Clivillés continued to keep the C+C legacy alive through his own production work. In 1995, he released a solo single under the name C+C Music Factory, called "I'll Always Be Around" (#1 Billboard Dance/Club Play), on MCA Records. This was the final #1 Dance/Club Play hit for C+C Music Factory. An album titled C+C Music Factory was released by MCA in 1995 in Europe, but didn't come out in the US. This was the final studio album of new material to be released under the C+C Music Factory name. The same year, Columbia/SME Records released Ultimate, a greatest hits collection featuring a compilation of remixes and album versions of C+C Music Factory's Sony Music Entertainment singles. Two singles were released in conjunction with the album: "I Found Love" (#13 Dance/Club Play), and "Robi Rob's Boriqua Anthem" (#29 Dance/Club Play), which featured Spanish-language reggae artist El General.

In October 1996, Clivillés released an album of new material under the name Robi-Rob's Clubworld.[14] The first single from the project, "Shake That Body", featured emcee Ya Kid K, formerly of Technotronic. The second single, "Reach", was a collaboration with Hex Hector, and featured vocals from longtime C+C vocalist Deborah Cooper. This was the final recording to include piano tracks recorded by the late David Cole.[15][16]

In the 2000s, Clivillés worked with the group MVP,[17] releasing two studio albums with the group.

In 2010, C+C Music Factory reformed, with Eric Kupper stepping in to replace Cole.[18]

In May 2015, Clivillés made his debut on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart with the song "Set Me Free", featuring vocals by Kimberly Davis of the band Chic.[6] The music video for "Set Me Free" makes reference to Clivillés' father's suicide.[6]

In June 2021, Clivillés produced and released the song "Yo Soy Latino (Vamos a Bailar)" by Latinos Del Mundo.[19]

In August 2021, he was interviewed by director Maria Soccor for the documentary Freestyle Music: The Legacy, which is currently in production.[20]


In 1989, Clivillés and Cole wrote a song titled "Get Dumb (Free Your Body)" that was originally performed under the name The Crew, featuring Freedom Williams, and later by Seduction. They allegedly illegally sampled portions of "The Music Got Me", which was written by Boyd Jarvis of early-1980s music group Visual. Jarvis sued them for copyright infringement in 1990, and demanded $15 million in royalties.[21]

Four years later, Kevin McCord filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Mariah Carey, Cole, Clivillés, and Columbia Records, because, according to McCord, they took parts of his song called "I Want to Thank You" and created "Make It Happen" out of it without permission.[22] Although the allegations were proven false, McCord eventually accepted a settlement offer of about US$500,000.[22][23]


with 2 Puerto Ricans, a Blackman, and a Dominican[edit]

  • "Do It Properly" (single) (1987)
  • "Scandalous" (single) (1989)

with The 28th Street Crew[edit]

  • I Need a Rhythm (1989)
  • "O" (1994)

with The Crew[edit]

  • "Get Dumb! (Free Your Body) (feat. Freedom Williams)" (single) (1990)

with C+C Music Factory[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1990 Gonna Make You Sweat
  • First studio album
  • Release date: December 13, 1990
  • Label: Columbia
2 11 7 26 59 3 30 13 8
  • RIAA: 5× Platinum
  • BPI: Gold
  • MC: 4× Platinum
1994 Anything Goes!
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: August 9, 1994
  • Label: Columbia
106 39 36 63 25 46
1995 C+C Music Factory
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: 1995
  • Label: MCA
  • Compilation
  • Release date: 1995
  • Label: Columbia
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

with MVP[edit]

  • Stagga Lee presents MVP (2003)
  • Hip Hop, Clubs, Girls & Life Vol. 1 (2006)


  • Robi Rob's Clubworld (1996)
  • Robi Rob's Clubworld – House of Sound presents Clubworld Shut Up and Dance (1996)
  • "Set Me Free" (feat. Kimberly Davis) (2015)

Other releases[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Clivillés, Discogs
  2. ^ Robi Rob's Clubworld - Robi's Rob Clubworld (Overview). AllMusic. Retrieved on July 23, 2019
  3. ^ a b Robert Clivilles Interview Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine from About.com
  4. ^ Most Valuable Players from MySpace
  5. ^ Robert Clivilles from Facebook
  6. ^ a b c Flosstradamus Flies to No. 1 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums, Billboard (May 1, 2015)
  7. ^ a b Tantum, Bruce (November 2010). "Nightclubbing: New York City's Better Days". Red Bull Music Academy. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  8. ^ Chep Nuñez, Discogs
  9. ^ 28th Street Crew, The, Discogs
  10. ^ Brat Pack, The, Discogs
  11. ^ Crew, The Featuring Freedom Williams – Get Dumb! (Free Your Body), Discogs
  12. ^ C+C Music Factory/Full Biography, MTV
  13. ^ "C+C's David Cole dies at 32" Archived July 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, NY Daily News (January 25, 1995)
  14. ^ Robi-Rob's Clubworld, AllMusic
  15. ^ Robi Rob's Clubworld – Robi Rob's Clubworld, Discogs
  16. ^ Robi Rob's Clubworld – Robi Rob's Clubworld, Discogs
  17. ^ M.V.P., Discogs
  18. ^ Remixxer: Bill Coleman (Continuous Mix), iTunes (June 1, 2010)
  19. ^ Q&A with Robert Clivillés: "I wanted to express 'Latinism'", NYCTastemakers (June 18, 2021)
  20. ^ "Award-Winning Director Maria Soccor Begins Production on 'Freestyle Music: The Legacy' Documentary Featuring Latin Freestyle Stars". Associated Press. May 26, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  21. ^ Jarvis v. A & M Records 827 F. Supp. 282 (D.N.J. 1993) UCLA Archived April 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ a b Atwood, Brett (July 23, 1994). "Carey And Sony Dispute C'right Infringement Claims". Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 30. BPI Communications. pp. 12, 125. ISSN 0006-2510. OCLC 1532948.
  23. ^ Friedman, Roger (August 10, 2004). "Mariah Carey Accused of Plagiarism". FOXNews.com. News Corporation. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  24. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 88. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]