Rachel Nagy, Detroit Cobras' Lead Singer and Co-Founder, Has Died

Rachel Nagy, founding member and lead singer of the Motor City garage rock outfit the Detroit Cobras, has died

Obit, Obituary

1/16/2022 9:10:00 PM

Rachel Nagy, founding member and lead singer of the Motor City garage rock outfit the Detroit Cobras, has died

“In both her voice and personality, Rachel Nagy was the perfect balance of tough badass and absolute sweetheart,” Third Man Records writes of garage rock frontwoman

(“What More”/”I Can’t Go Back”) in 2018, added in a statement, “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.”

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their final single (“What More”/”I Can’t Go Back”) in 2018, added in a statement, “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.” Formed in Detroit in 1994, the Detroit Cobras gained popularity within the city’s music scene and abroad for their garage rock covers of Sixties songs; dubbed “Detroit’s Most Famous Cover Band,” the Detroit Cobras’ four studio LPs — notably 1998’s Mink, Rat or Rabbit and 2001’s Life, Love and Leaving , recorded on Sympathy for the Record Industry, the same label that released the first three White Stripes records — were all covers albums, with Nagy, Ramirez and their army of collaborators delivering renditions of songs by Irma Thomas, the Shangri-Las, the Marvelettes and more. In 2016, Third Man Records reissued Mink, Rat or Rabbit (“one of the earliest salvos in the great Detroit garage explosion of the turn of the century,” the label wrote at the time) and Life, Love and Leaving . “The inimitable vocals of Rachel Nagy would no-doubt be a template from which folks like Amy Winehouse would work from years later. A landmark collection of covers,” the label said. “People think, ‘Oh, they’re covers, it’s easy, what’s the problem?’ It’s actually harder. When people are playing original songs, they have the freedom to fuck up, they can change something. With us, it is something very specific that we’re after,” Nagy told