Detroit born Motown star Smokey Robinson to perform at Freedom Hill Amphitheater August 29th. Tickets go on sale Friday morning June 7th at 10 am. Purchase tickets and find more info on the show here.
Robinson was born and spent his childhood in the Brewster Projects of Detroit. Following the death of his mother when “Smokey” was ten, he was taken in by his older sister and lived with her 10 children. He met Berry Gordy in 1957 and convinced him to start his own record label Tamala, which later became Motown Records.
The Miracles became one of the first acts signed to the label. In late 1960, the group recorded their first hit single, “Shop Around”, which became Motown’s first million-selling single. Between 1960 and 1970, Robinson would produce 26 top forty hits with the Miracles as lead singer, chief songwriter and producer, including several top ten hits such as “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”, “Mickey’s Monkey”, “I Second That Emotion”, “Baby Baby Don’t Cry” and the group’s only number-one hit during their Robinson years, “Tears of a Clown”. Other notable hits such as “Ooo Baby Baby”, “Going to a Go-Go”, “The Tracks of My Tears”, “(Come Round Here) I’m The One You Need”, “The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage” and “More Love” peaked in the top twenty. In 1965, the Miracles was the first Motown group to adapt a name change when they were listed as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles on the cover of their 1965 album “Going to a Go-Go”. Their name change would be confirmed on singles after 1966.
In 1987, Robinson was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Two years later, in 1989, he was inducted to the Songwriter’ Hall of Fame. In 1993, Robinson was awarded a medal at the National Medal of Arts. Two years before, he won the Heritage Award at the Soul Train Music Awards. At its 138th Commencement Convocation in May 2006, Howard University conferred on Robinson the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa. In December 2006 Robinson was one of five Kennedy Center honorees, along with Dolly Parton, Zubin Mehta, Steven Spielberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber.