Robert “Sugar” Hightower – Rest in Peace

Zadella “Mama” Curtis reported this evening that Robert “Sugar” Hightower passed away.

As Michael Jackson was to the Jackson Five, “Sugar” Hightower was to the Hightower Brothers (below).  He led the group’s early recordings for Nashboro Records with a pre-pubescent alto that he coupled with a diminutive quartet growl.  Hightower went on to play guitar for Slim and the Supreme Angels.

According to the Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus, Hightower died Tuesday night, August 24, at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Arrangements are pending at E.M. Matthews Funeral Home and Cremations Inc.

Please keep the Hightower Family and friends lifted in prayer during this difficult time.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.


    Though we are sadden, We do not sorrow as those who have no hope, because we believe that Jesus died and rose again; even so will our loved one also who sleep IN JESUS will God bring back with Him.

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  3. I’m so greatful I had the opportunity to see Sugar in May @ his benefit concert this yr. I gave him a hug & he displayed a confident smile & said “hey man where u been”. The 1st concert I ever promoted was Slim & the Supreme Angels in 1995 in S.C. A couple wks later I had opportunity to know Sugar off stage by traveling with them a whole wkend to the Bronx NY.Sugar Hightower was a very humble guy to me, and I thank God for allowing the chance to work wit Mr Hightower & the rest of SUPREME ANGEL FAMILY. GOD BLESS THE HIGHTOWER FAMILY. Angelo Breeden-Raleigh NC

  4. On behalf of Luther Barnes and Luther Barnes Song Ministries we extend our condolences to “The Supreme Angels” and to the Hightower Family. Another one of our “partners” has passed on, but we know that the God that we sing about has “Sugar” in His care. “Sugar” is alright now. May God Bless you and we love you guys. Luther

  5. We brought the Hightower Brothers to Boston in 1961.I was 11 or 12 and in a family group.It was Tommy Ellison and his group and The Hightowers. I was mesmerized by his singing and Jo Jo Wallace guitar solo(dance and all). The Hightwowers have been my favorite all time group. Sugar and I were the same age. Backstage at 12 yrs old he offered me a piece of his meat ball sub brought to him by the road manager.I wanted to do all that he was doing at 12. He was my role model at the time. I will miss him as well as his father Nick Hightower and his brother Rico. It seemed like yesterday. Precious memories how they linger and ever bless my soul. I am praying for the family.

  6. The Wave of Glory Ministries of Goldsboro, NC celebrated the life and legacy of Robert Lee Hightower on Tuesday, August 31st. He fought his battle with cancer still playing his golden guitar. We are honored to have known such a great man who used his gifts and talents for the Glory of God. Play on Brother Sugar!!!

  7. Mr.Robert Lee Hightower was a “Great” musician and is greatly missed.I would love to have a DVD of his performances in early years,as with groups before Slim and The Supreme Angeles.

  8. God bless this family. I remember when his brother Rico died with Billy Stewarts band in that tragic accident. Long live The Hightower Brothers in our hearts.

  9. I really loved to hear Sugar play his guitar. He was so gifted. His singing in his younger days was awesome. I know he is truly miss by family and his fans.

  10. Dr. Charles L. Singleton

    Robert “Sugar” Hightower, vocalist, and one of the greatest guitarists of all times, celebration of life continues in gospel music. “Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

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