Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson

Along with his group ‘The Miracles’, Smokey Robinson was one of the longest-serving Motown artists, with his song writing and producing, as well as his musical talents, contributing to a number of top hits. Read on for 10 facts about this musical legend…

1. Born ‘William Robinson Jr.’, Smokey’s nickname came from his uncle Claude, who gave him the nickname ‘Smokey Joe’ as a child.


2. Robinson was the lead singer of the ‘The Miracles’, whose single ‘Shop Around’ was the first Motown record to sell a million copies.


3. In the early -sixties, Robinson became Motown’s vice president, when he was just 22.


4. Despite enjoying years of success, Robinson did not win his first Grammy award until 1988 with hit ‘Just to See Her’.


5. Robinson’s son, Berry Borope Robinson, was named after Motown’s founder, Berry Gordy and was given his middle name as an acronym for the Miracles, Bobby, Ronnie and Pete.


6. Robinson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.


7. Robinson is commonly referred to as ‘The Soul of Motown’.


8. As a songwriter, Robinson is credited with over 4,000 songs and 37 top 40 hits.


9. As a child in Detroit, Robinson lived only doors down from fellow Motown legend Diana Ross.


10. Robinson was one of Motown’s most versatile writers and producers, churning out hits not only on the Miracles, but Mary Wells, the Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations and more.

Want to find out about more Motown Artists, check out our Explore page.

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