Smokey Robinson is an American R&B and pop singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson is credited with inventing the Motown sound, which was hugely successful from the 1950s until the 1970s.
Smokey was a crucial member of the Miracles, a singing group that enjoyed a lot of success during the Motown era. Robinson went on to have a successful solo career after leaving the group. He also worked for Motown Records as a vice president. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Smokey Robinson in 1987.
Smokey Robinson Biography
William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 19, 1940. William was born into an impoverished family in Detroit’s North End and was given the nickname “Smokey” by his uncle Claude. Claude introduced William to cowboy movies and eventually gave him his own “cowboy name,” “Smokey Joe.”
From that time forward, the young William was known as Smokey Joe to everyone. He eventually ditched the “Joe” moniker and went by “Smokey.” Smokey formed the Five Chimes, a doo-wop group, while still in high school.
As a child, Robinson was a huge music fan who listened to a wide range of performers on the radio. Nolan Strong & the Diablos, Billy Ward & His Dominoes, and many others were among them. His doo-wop trio was called the Matadors later on.
what is Smokey Robinson’s Net Worth?
One of the most wealthy R&B artists living right now is Smokey Robinson. The well-known American singer-songwriter “Smokey Robinson” has a fortune of $160 million. Just the songs, he has made almost $160 million. Smokey Robinson still receives roughly $5 million a year in royalties from the music he produced over the years.
He currently resides in a home in California that costs $22 million. Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles are among the other California cities where he has property. His real estate is estimated to be worth around $72 million in total.
The Career of Smokey Robinson
After undertaking numerous tours in the late 1950s, The Matadors changed their name to The Miracles. In 1957, Robinson got to know the songwriter Berry Gordy. Gordy assisted The Miracles with the release of their debut hit, “Got a Job.” Before this moment, Robinson was enrolled in college to study electrical engineering, but he successfully dropped out after his first single.
Many of Motown’s most popular songs, such as “My Guy” for Mary Wells and “The Way You Do The Things You Do” for The Temptations, were written by Robinson, who is himself a talented songwriter. Additionally, he co-wrote and oversaw the production of a number of The Miracles’ biggest hits, including “Shop Around,” “Tracks of My Tears,” and “Tears of a Clown.”
Although some believed Robinson would permanently leave the music industry, he merely took a year off before launching a solo career in 1973. His debut solo album, “Smokey,” was released that year. His following hit was “Pure Smokey” in 1974. Despite the quality of the music on these albums, Robinson didn’t leave a lasting impression.
He was competing with well-known solo musicians like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, which was mostly the cause of this. Smokey Robinson eventually succeeded as a solo artist in 1975. His “A Quiet Storm” album, which featured the songs “Baby That’s Backatcha” and “Quiet Storm,” was released.
He then began to concentrate more on his duties as Vice President of Motown. As a result, Smokey didn’t give his subsequent solo albums the attention they deserved and didn’t work as hard on them as he had in the past. With the top ten hit “Cruisin,” Smokey was able to get back on track in 1979.
When it was released in 1981, Robinson’s single “Being With You” topped the charts. With the 1987 release of the album “One Heartbeat,” which had songs like “Just to See Her” and “One Heartbeat” that reached the top ten, he saw greater popularity.
Robinson has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including the Grammy Living Legend Award in 1991 and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Additionally, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Kennedy Center Honors recognition.
Smokey Robinson’s Personal Life
Robinson married Claudette Rogers, a fellow Miracles member, in 1959. Berry Robinson (born 1968), the couple’s son, was named after Motown’s first label founder Berry Gordy, and Tamla Robinson (born 1971), the couple’s daughter, was named after Gordy’s initial “Tamla” label, which would ultimately become Motown.
During his marriage to Claudette, Robinson had a son named Trey (born in 1984) with another lady. Robinson filed for formal separation and then divorce after admitting to fathering a kid with a woman other than his wife. In 1986, the divorce was finalized.
In 1974, the Robinsons divorced, and around that time, Robinson had an extramarital affair, which inspired the song “The Agony & The Ecstasy”. In May 2002, Robinson married Frances Gladney. They have a house in Pittsburgh that they rent out as a winery. Robinson’s emerald green eyes, which he claims he inherited from his French great-grandmother, are striking.