Robert James Smith, born in England on 21 april 1959, is a songwriter, lead singer and guitarist for the band The Cure.
His intricate guitar playing and innovative use of flanging, chorusing and phasing effects has led him to be considered a pioneer guitarist in the goth and new wave genres. He also played in the band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Besides guitar, Smith plays the 6-string bass and keyboards.
He is also known for his appearance - teased hair, black clothes, pale skin, smudged red lipstick and black eyeliner - as well as his distinctive voice.
Smith was raised as a Catholic and went to Notre Dame Middle School and St. Wilfrid's Comprehensive School in Crawley. He was an accomplished student who maintained high marks, but after he began playing guitar at the age of 11 his primary focus quickly became his music. He was influenced by The Beatles, Nick Drake,Jimi Hendrix, Thin Lizzy, The Stranglers, Wire, Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Ink Spots, The Statler Brothers, Syd Barrett, Joy Division and David Bowie.
Smith began sporting his trademark style of smeared red lipstick, eye-liner, pale complexion, artfully dishevelled black hair, black clothes, and trainers in the early 1980's, around the same time as the Goth subculture got its start. However, Smith denies any link and claims it's a coincidence that the styles are similar, stating that he has worn make-up since he was young and saying, "It's so pitiful when 'goth' is still tagged onto the name The Cure."
(Robert Smith wedding in 1988 with his childhood sweetheart)
His song writing for the band's early albums centered around themes of depression, loneliness, and isolation. The sombre mood of these early albums, along with Smith's on-stage persona, cemented the band's "gothic" image.
(the look of Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhand was inspired by Robert Smith)