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Detroit-native Smokey Robinson celebrates his 80th birthday

Smokey Robinson

Today is the 80th birthday of Motown legend Smokey Robinson.

The singer and songwriter was a founding member of The Miracles while he was still in high school. The group was Motown founder Berry Gordy’s first vocal group.

In addition to writing hits for the Miracles, Robinson wrote and produced songs for other Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. Those hits include "My Girl,” “Shop Around,” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.”

The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960s and early 70s and Robinson became Vice President of Motown Records serving as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter.

During the course of his career in music, Robinson has accumulated more than 4,000 songs to his credit, according to his official website.

Robinson has received numerous awards including the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States.

He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Happy Birthday, Smokey!

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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