Smokey Robinson has one of the most recognizable voices and faces in the music industry. His contribution to the Motown sound is incalculable. He is a producer, a performer, an entertainer and a record executive without peer. As a company songwriter and producer, as well as lead singer and frontman for the immortal Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Detroit native brought the world one classic performance after another during Motown's golden age. And the hits just kept on coming after Robinson went out as a solo act.
In addition to his sensitive performances on numerous million-selling records both in his own right and earlier as part of The Miracles, he has penned some of the most timeless and significant compositions of the last three decades. From "My Guy" to "My Girl", from the pathos of "The Tracks of My Tears" to the romance of "Being with You", Smokey Robinson will go down in history as one of the most gifted signer/songwriter/producers of our time.
Robinson started out singing in local groups and found inspiration from music playing in his household. In the early 1950s, he formed the Matadors, which later became the world famous Miracles. A chance meeting with record producer Berry Gordy, Jr. led to a contract with Motown Records as well as an important working relationship. The Miracles scored their first big hit with "Shop Around" (1960) and developed quite a following with their energetic R&B sound. The group has numerous hits, including "You Really Got a Hold on Me" (1962) and "I Second That Emotion" (1967). Robinson also worked behind the scenes, composing and producing for the Miracles and other Motown artists, such as Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations. His work contributed to the success of Motown Records and helped advance the popularity of soul music.
Robinson went solo in 1972, creating a more mellow sound for himself and released such successful albums as A Quiet Storm (1974) and Touch the Sky (1983). He won his first Grammy Award as a solo artist in 1987 for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for the song "Just To See Her" from the album One Heartbeat. Other later solo recordings included Double Good Everything (1991) and Intimate (1999). He took his work in a new direction in 2004, releasing a collection of music that reflected his spiritual beliefs entitled Food for the Spirit.
In 2006, Robinson was selected to be a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the arts and American culture and received an honorary degree from Howard University. That year, he also put out a new album, Timeless Love, which offered Robinson's own take on several classic songs, such as Cole Porter's "Night and Day" and the Gershwin brothers' "Our Love Is Here to Stay." Smokey's latest effort, Time Flies When You're Having Fun was recently completed and debuted on the hit show American Idol earlier this year.
Only on A&E's PRIVATE SESSIONS - Don't miss a special hour with the Motown legend SMOKEY ROBINSON. He joins A&E's Private Sessions to support The Recovery Project Rally with a terrific performance at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. He treats us to some of his greatest hits, "Going to a Go Go," "I Second That Emotion," "Being With You," "Just To See Her," and a special song from his new album "Don't Know Why." Don't miss his intimate interview with host Lynn Hoffman, revealing some of his heart-felt thoughts on Michael Jackson, and his struggles with addiction, as well as his 50 years friendship with Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Read Smokey Robinson's full biography on BIO.com