Robert James Smith (born 21 April 1959) is an English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is the lead singer and principal songwriter of the rock band The Cure, and its only constant member since its founding in 1976. NY Rock calls him "pop culture's unkempt poster child of doom and gloom", and describes his songs as "sombre introspection over lush, brooding guitars". Smith is a multi-instrumentalist who can play guitar, bass guitar, double bass, keyboard, violin, flute and trumpet. His distinctive & intricate guitar playing, guitar tunings, and innovative use of flanging, chorusing & phasing effects has led him to be considered a pioneer guitarist in the new wave, indie and rock genres.
Robert Smith is the third of four children born to Alex and Rita Smith. His siblings are Richard, Margaret and Janet. Janet Smith is married to Porl Thompson, the "second" guitarist of The Cure; he and Smith switch between playing lead and rhythm guitars. Smith has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Mary Poole, since 1988; the couple have opted not to have children.
Smith was raised as a Catholic and went to Notre Dame Middle School and St. Wilfrid's.