Congratulations are in order for Smokey Robinson! The legendary singer/songwriter was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at June 28’s BET Awards. It couldn’t have gone to a more deserving artist — and the stars in the audience were totally mesmerized throughout his whole speech and performance!
Smokey Robinson, 75, is officially the recipient of 2015’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards! He received this great honor at the show on June 28, and after so many years of iconic work, the decision is certainly no surprise!
News that Smokey would be this year’s honoree was announced weeks ago, so he had a bit of time to craft his emotional speech. But it was still a great moment when Diddy presented him with the award and we got to see stars like Janelle Monae, Patti LaBelle and John Legend praise the iconic musician.
“First of all, I’d like to thank my longtime, wonderful, beautiful friend Miss Debra Lee and her fantastic organization BET for your many years of friendship and support,” Smokey said in his speech. “My father God in heaven, you have blessed me. You have allowed me to live this wonderful musical world that I love so much. You have sustained me for all these years and you keep making it brand new. You have made it brand new for me here tonight, once again, and I thank you, Debra and BET because this is so, so special for me.”
The legendary star also made sure to shout out up-and-coming artists, and offer some advice on staying humble and true, despite fame. ” I thank you father because you allow me to live in this fantastic, crazy world of show business,” he gushed. “It’s like a bittersweet wine and it’s intoxicating. And there’s so many people, millions of people around the world, who are standing in line to get a taste. For those of you who are fortunate enough to get a taste and get drunk on yourselves and become self-absorbed .. there are so many people in this world who wish they had one person who they felt love them. And for you to become hearty and self-absorbed because millions of people around the world, most of them you’ll never know or never meet, love you, it’s so ridiculous. You should be thankful. It’s a blessing. We all should know from who our blessings come. You didn’t start this. You are not the first in line. The line started way way way way before your great, great, great grandparents were born. Also, you are not the end of the line. It didn’t start with y’all, and it’s not going to end with ya’ll, so don’t be so full of yourselves. I thank you and I love you, all of you, thank you very much.”
And those younger stars were certainly hanging on Smokey’s every word! In the audience, Rihanna was looking on in absolute awe, practically tearing up as she admired Smokey giving his speech. And Terrence Howard was totally entranced, even putting his hand over his heart while he listened intently. The whole crowd was totally mesmerized by everything that was going on, and we don’t blame them! The audience got even MORE excited when Smokey performed a medley of his hits. It was so epic!
Smokey joins a list of amazing singers, including Whitney Houston, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, who have won the Lifetime Achievement Award since its origin in 2002. The award is given to an artist or group who made notable contributions to the music industry, and part of the ceremony includes current artists performing the recipient’s biggest hits. For Smokey, that included Tori Kelly, belting out one of the most memorable tracks he wrote, “Who’s Loving You,” for the Jackson 5. Robin Thicke was also there to sing The Miracles’ hit “Ooo Baby Baby,” and NeYo rocking out to “The Tears Of A Clown.”
Smokey Robinson: His Iconic History
After falling in love with songwriting, Smokey formed the Matadors in the late 1950s, and they soon changed their name to The Miracles. While working with the band, Smokey met songwriter Berry Gordy, and together, they formed Tamia Records, which would eventually become the legendary Motown Records.
In 1960, Smokey and the Miracles finally released their first hit-single “Shop Around,” which helped Motown receive major recognition, and Smokey continued to write hit after hit for the group. He quickly became an in-demand songwriter for other artists and groups on the record label.
In 1972, Smokey decided to retire, but a year later, he returned as a solo artist, and has released new music as ‘Smokey Robinson’ all the way up until his most recent album in 2014, Smokey & Friends. Throughout his career, Smokey has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and received his Doctor of Music Degree from Howard University. And now he can add Lifetime Achievement Award to his resume — pretty impressive!
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Smokey winning the award?
— Alyssa Norwin