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Robin Zander

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Robin Zander
Zander performing in Hallandale Beach, Florida, 2006
Zander performing in Hallandale Beach, Florida, 2006
Background information
Birth nameRobin Wayne Zander
Born (1953-01-23) January 23, 1953 (age 71)
Beloit, Wisconsin, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1973–present
Member ofCheap Trick

Robin Wayne Zander (born January 23, 1953)[1] is an American musician, best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band Cheap Trick, but is also a solo artist. Zander was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 as a member of Cheap Trick.

Zander performing live at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida – January 31, 2014

Early life[edit]

Zander was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, and grew up in nearby Loves Park, Illinois.[2] He learned to play the guitar by age 12.[3] Zander graduated from Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Illinois.[4] After playing in high school bands in the 1960s,[5] he joined Brian Beebe to form the folk duo Zander & Kent in the early 1970s.[6]

Music career[edit]

Cheap Trick[edit]

In 1974, Zander accepted an invitation to join Cheap Trick.[7] Along with Zander, the band consisted of guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Bun E. Carlos.[8] Cheap Trick's 1979 album, Cheap Trick at Budokan, catapulted the band to stardom.[9] The band reached the Top 10 in the U.S. charts in 1979 with "I Want You to Want Me" and topped the charts in 1988 with "The Flame".[10] As of 2018, Cheap Trick had been a band for over 40 years.[11] Cheap Trick has performed more than 5,000 shows[12] and has sold more than 20 million albums.[5] Zander was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Cheap Trick in 2016.[13]

Other work[edit]

Zander released the solo album Robin Zander in 1993. A second solo album, Countryside Blvd, was released online in April 2011 but was withdrawn from online music outlets within hours of being available.

On September 30, 2016, Los Angeles rock band Steel Panther released a cover version of Cheap Trick song "She's Tight" (from Cheap Trick's 1982 album One On One), which features Zander in the music video.[14]


Known for his "pin-up good looks",[2] Zander's singing has been described as "jaw-dropping" and "supremely virtuosic".[15] In a 2014 piece titled "Unsung Heroes: The 10 Most Underrated Classic Rock Singers", Dan Tucker of VH1.com described Zander as having "range, style and attitude."[16] Zander is a tenor.[17][18][19][20]

Zander's vocal style has influenced many other rock singers, from 1980s hard rockers (such as Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, Bret Michaels of Poison, and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row) to 1990s punk revivalists (such as Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day) to alternative icons (such as Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots).[21][22][23][2]

The May 2009 issue of Classic Rock magazine published a list of the 50 Greatest Singers in Rock. Zander was voted #23 on the list by readers, Classic Rock critics and a number of singers.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Zander performing in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2008

Zander and his first wife, Karen, had two children: A son named Ian Zander and a daughter named Holland Zander. Ian and Holland Zander are musicians.[25]

As of 2018, Zander lives in Safety Harbor, Florida[26][27] with his wife, former Playboy Playmate Pamela Stein.[28] Zander and Stein have a son, Robin Taylor Zander, and a daughter, Robin-Sailor Zander;[26] both are singer-songwriters.[27] When Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson was sidelined from touring in 2021 due to surgery, Robin Taylor Zander filled in for him on tour.[29]

Solo discography[edit]




  1. ^ Rose, Mike. "Today's famous birthdays list for January 23, 2023 includes celebrities Mariska Hargitay, Chita Rivera". Cleveland.com. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "Robin Zander - Biography & History". AllMusic.
  3. ^ "Robin Zander Band to perform in Newton". Daily Record.
  4. ^ Leaf, Brian. "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally tells Cheap Trick it wants the Rockford band in its Class of 2016". Journal Standard.
  5. ^ a b "Cheap Trick's lead singer Robin Zander set to rock The Ranch". Naples Daily News.
  6. ^ Patenaude, Joel (September 22, 2018). "Madison-area musician hopes to recover in time for show with Cheap Trick singer". WISC.
  7. ^ "Cheap Trick comes full circle in Milwaukee". March 1, 2007.
  8. ^ Curry, Corina. "Cheap Trick: 'New guy' Daxx Nielsen has known bandmates his whole life". Rockford Register Star.
  9. ^ "Cheap Trick – At Budokan (album)". SwissCharts.com. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
  10. ^ "Cheap Trick". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "5 reasons to see Cheap Trick in concert".
  12. ^ "Cheap Trick: 'We don't want to do wimp versions of ourselves'". USA TODAY.
  13. ^ "Cheap Trick is having a banner year". San Diego Union-Tribune. June 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "Steel Panther release She's Tight video". Loudwire. September 30, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Miers, Jeff (June 27, 2018). "Cheap Trick steals the show, but Poison fans still leave happy".
  16. ^ Tucker 4/26/2014, Dan. "Unsung Heroes: The 10 Most Underrated Classic Rock Singers". VH1 News. Archived from the original on June 29, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "Picks of the week". Times Union. January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "Concert preview: Cheap Trick still carries a flame for great music". Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Legge, Ed. "Rock legend delights crowd in intimate shows at Monk's". Wiscnews.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Tribune, Bob Gendron, Special to the. "Cheap Trick packs Ravinia for hits, deep cuts and Beatles' covers". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Music – Music News, New Songs, Videos, Music Shows and Playlists from MTV". www.mtv.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 1996.
  22. ^ Freedman, Pete (November 18, 2008). "Q and A: Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick". Dallas Observer.
  23. ^ "Cheap Trick singer talks longevity, lawsuits, and lipo before acoustic show". delawareonline.
  24. ^ Lab, Avalon Media. "Glenn Hughes Fan Forum". g l e n n h u g h e s . c o m.
  25. ^ Leaf, Brian (April 10, 2016). "Cheap Trick: Several bandmates' kids pursuing the family business". RRStar.com. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Daddy's all right: Cheap Trick's Robin Zander to play concert with son and daughter this Saturday". SandhillsExpress.com. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Cridlin, Jay (April 6, 2016). "Cheap Trick's Robin Zander celebrates Safety Harbor, Hall of Fame induction". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  28. ^ Greene, Andy (April 8, 2016). "Inside Cheap Trick's Unlikely Renaissance". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  29. ^ Gray, Andy (November 12, 2021). "Cheap Trick (and sons) rock Packard". The Vindicator. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  30. ^ Tom Demalon (July 6, 1993). "Robin Zander - Robin Zander | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  31. ^ "Countryside Blvd. - Robin Zander - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  32. ^ "Robin Zander - In This Country". Discogs.
  33. ^ "Rebbie Jackson with Robin Zander - You Send The Rain Away". Discogs.
  34. ^ "Rebbie Jackson You Send The Rain Away Chart History". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Robin Zander Surrender To Me (From "Tequila Sunrise") Chart History". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Robin Zander Surrender To Me Chart History". Billboard.
  37. ^ "I've Always Got You". Discogs.
  38. ^ "Robin Zander I've Always Got You Chart History". Billboard.

External links[edit]