Sharon Robinson (songwriter)

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Sharon Robinson
Sharon Robinson 2167.jpg
Robinson in 2008
Background information
Born1958 (age 60–61)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
GenresFolk, folk rock, rock, world, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Associated actsLeonard Cohen

Sharon Robinson (born 1958 in San Francisco) is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. She is best known as a frequent writing collaborator with Leonard Cohen,[1] although she has written songs for a number of other artists as well, including The Pointer Sisters, Aaron Neville, Brenda Russell, Diana Ross, Don Henley, Michael Bolton, Randy Crawford, Patti LaBelle, Roberta Flack, The Temptations, and others.


Robinson excelled in school, and as a National Merit semi-finalist she earned a scholarship to Salem College in West Virginia. Halfway to her degree, money and music proved a stronger draw, so she left school to front a touring top-40 band for several years. Burnout on the road brought her back to college; this time to the California Institute of the Arts to study music.

She toured as back-up singer for Cohen in 1979 and 1980, and then again during 2008–2013. They collaborated on writing the songs "Everybody Knows" and "Waiting for the Miracle", released in 1988 and 1992 respectively. In 2001 she co-wrote, produced, arranged and performed the backing tracks (as well as appearing alongside Cohen on the cover) for his album Ten New Songs. Robinson also contributed to three tracks on Cohen's 2004 album Dear Heather, and duetted with Cohen on "The Letters".

She was awarded a Grammy in 1985 for the song "New Attitude" (from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack), recorded by Patti LaBelle.

In 2004, Robinson gave a full-length interview discussing her life, career and work with Leonard Cohen.

In 2005, Robinson's song "The High Road" was performed by Bettye LaVette on her album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, which was picked as #59 at Amazon's best of 2005 Editor's picks. Robinson's recent work also includes the songs written for Chris Botti.

Sharon Robinson on stage with Leonard Cohen during concert at Edinburgh Castle, July 16, 2008

In 2008, Robinson released her debut solo album Everybody Knows, which includes three songs she co-wrote with Cohen: "Alexandra Leaving", "Everybody Knows", and "Summertime", their first collaboration, originally recorded by Diana Ross for her 1987 album Red Hot Rhythm & Blues. The set also includes "The High Road", and six new tracks written by Robinson.

On October 27, 2008, Vibrant Records released Everybody Knows in the United Kingdom and Europe, replacing the original artwork from Leonard Cohen with a photo of Robinson. In February 2009, Vibrant Records closed due to the bankruptcy of its distributor Pinnacle. In April 2009, UK label Freeworld Records re-released Everybody Knows in Europe with the original Leonard Cohen-drawn cover art. Robinson self-released the album in the U.S.

In 2008 Robinson joined The Leonard Cohen World Tour which lasted until December 2013. In August 2013 she was profiled in a cover story in the Financial Times. A book of her photographs was released in December 2014 along with exhibits in New York and Los Angeles, and performances in those cities and Toronto.

Sharon Robinson appeared on Cohen's 2012 album Old Ideas singing, arranging choirs and playing synth bass on four tracks.

Robinson performed songs from both her albums and also songs she co-wrote with Cohen on a tour in March and April 2015, coinciding with the release of her second solo album, entitled Caffeine, singing in Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Ireland, Scotland and England. Caffeine included 10 new tracks written and produced by Sharon Robinson herself, with one song, "Lucky", co-written with Cohen in the 1980s but not recorded.

In 2015 Robinson released a four-track EP titled Sharon Robinson EP 1, with the songs by Tom Waits, Otis Redding, Bruce Hornsby, and Eric Clapton. After her second 2015 tour was postponed, she toured in Europe again in August and September 2016. In August 2016, she was the guest of honor at the 10th Leonard Cohen Event, held in Amsterdam.


Collaborative albums[edit]

Solo albums[edit]


External links[edit]