Songwriter and vocalist Sharon Robinson has worked with a great many artists within the music sphere, such as Diana Ross, Michael Bolton, and Roberta flack, to name a few; but it was her friendship and work relation with the late Leonard Cohen that brings her to the forefront of music news today.
Robinson’s extraordinary connection with Cohen set her apart from a number of backing vocalists when she became his main partner for musical collaboration in the early 80s.
Having worked with Cohen on songs like “Everybody Knows” and “Waiting for the Miracle,” Robinson was also a featured collaborator on his tenth studio album Ten New Songs, which was released in 2001.
Robinson traveled as a backing vocalist for Cohen during his famous Grand Tour, which spanned the course of five years, from 2008 to 2013.
In an interview posted recently by Rolling Stone, Robinson was asked if she had any idea as to what motivated Cohen to keep the tour going for so long.
“He never exactly told me, at least not in so many words,” Robinson said, “but I felt he was feeling a lot of fulfillment from it. He had struggled a lot early on in his career to get the sort of attention he deserved and now he was getting it in a live format. Also, touring is very mentally and physically demanding, but I think he enjoyed that sort of challenge… It was almost a type of mediation… Leonard would often sit on the plane or the bus silently. He would close his eyes, but he wasn’t sleeping. He’d just be mediating. You could tell he was just conserving energy.”
Sharon Robinson, who is also a 1985 Grammy Award-winner, continues to tour as a solo act focusing on the folk rock genre.
Photos: Getty/Jillian Edelstein