Smokey Robinson Biography
Smokey Robinson an American singer, songwriter, producer and former executive producer famously in the early 1970s as the frontman and founder of a Motown musical group called The Miracles. He is a Detroit native who was awarded the 2016 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his lifetime contributions in the music industry.
Smokey Robinson Age
Smokey was born on 19 February 1940, in Detroit, Michigan, United States.
Smokey Robinson Height and Weight
Robinson stands tall at a height of 5 feet 10.5 inches and weighs 82 kg (181 lb).
Smokey Robinson Family
Robinson was born to Flossie Robinson and William Robinson who was an African-American while his mother was African-American with French ancestry. Smokey was raised up alongside his two siblings Rose Ella Jones and Geraldine Burston. His uncle Claude who was also his godfather nicknamed him ‘Smokey Joe’ when he was young.
Smokey Robinson Wife
Smokey wasmarried to Claudette Rogers Robinson in a private wedding ceremony held in 1959. They were blessed with two children and later divorced in 1986. Claudette cited infidelity as the main cause of their divorce. In 2002, Smokey married his second and current wife Frances Glandney.
Smokey Robinson Children
Smokey has two children from his first marriage to Claudette Rogers named Berry Robinson who was born in 1968 and Tamla Robinson born in 1969. He also has Trey who was born in 1984 born from an extramarital affair Smokey had while he was still married to Claudette.
Smokey Robinson Group, The Miracles
Smokey developed an interest in music since he was young. While at Northern High School he formed a doo-wop group named the Five Chimes. He formed his first line up with Five Chimes in 1955 with Ronald White, a childhood friend, and Pete More, his classmate.
In 1957, after Bobby Rodgers joined the band, it was renamed to Matadors. Claudette Rogers later joined the band as a replacement for Emerson Rogers. In 1958 Marv Tarplin, the band’s guitarist joined the group. The band later changed their name to ‘The Miracles’.
In 1957 the band released their first single, “Got a Job” on End Records. The single was released after the band met songwriter Berry Gordy who produced them. Gordy formed Tamla Records which was later reincorporated as Motown. He signed The Miracles as his first acts.
In late 1960 the band released its first hit single called Shop Around. In the mid-1960s, Robinson became the vice president of Motown. He wanted to retire from The Miracles by 1969 to focus more on his duty as the vice president of Motown but he stayed with the group until 1972 due to the success of the group’s Tears of a Clown.
Smokey Robinson Motown
Smoke was signed to Motown after he met Berry Gordy in 1957. In the late 1960’s ‘The Miracles’ became Motown’s first act. In the mid-1960’s he became Motown’s vice president. He relinquished his position in 1988 after the company was sold off to MCA in 1988. In 1991 he left Motown record as an artist for a deal with SBK Records. He made a brief comeback to Motown records in 1999 and released his album titled intimate’ on the record. In 2003 he split from the record again.
Smokey Robinson Net Worth
Smokey has an estimated Net Worth of around $100 million.
Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross
Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross were friends since they were pre-teens living down the streets from each other. The had a love affair during Diana’s pre-Supreme days as she confirmed in her book ‘Secrets of a Sparrow.’
Smokey was asked if he ever felt jealous when Diana hooked up with his best friend, Berry Gordy, which he said he didn’t mind as he just wanted to see both of his close friends happy. He and Diana had also moved past their relationship at the time.
It was also rumored that Smokey’s first wife, Claudette, knew of his relationship with Diana which prompted her to forbid him from working with Diana. Smokey obliged but when Diana left Supremes he produced one of their hits “Floy Joy” in 1972.
Smokey Robinson Dead
Robinson is still alive. Back in 2013 it was his friend Bobby Rogers, who was born on the same day in the same Detroit hospital as Smokey Robinson whom he harmonized in high school and eventually in the Hall of Fame singing group the Miracles.
Smokey Robinson Gay
People had rumors that he might be gay because of his unique fashionable style. However, that’s no case because Smokey is married to a woman and together they are blessed with kids.
Smokey Robinson Career
In 1973 Robinson released his solo eponymous come back album ‘Smokey’. The album included the Miracles tribute song, “Sweet Harmony” and the hit ballad “Baby Come Close”. He released his second album in 1974, ‘Pure Smokey’.
He released his third album A Quiet Storm in 1975. His solo career, however, suffered as he relied on other writers and producers to help him with his albums as he was still the vice president of Motown. The company was later sold off to MCA in 1988 and Robinson renounced his position as the vice president.
Robinson wrote ‘Cruisin’ which became a massive hit reaching number one in Cash Box and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also his first solo number one in New Zealand.
Robinson released ‘One Heartbeat’ in 1987 and the singles, “Just to See Her” and “One Heartbeat” became Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Pop, Soul, and Adult Contemporary charts.
Smokey Robinson Songs
- Sweet Harmony
- Baby Come Close
- It’s Her Turn to Live
- Just My Soul Responding
- Virgin Man
- I Am I Am
- Baby That’s Backatcha
- The Agony and the Ecstasy
- Quiet Storm
- When You Came
- An Old Fashioned Man