“"My uncle Claude was my favorite uncle he was also my godfather. He and I were really, really close. He used to take me to see cowboy movies all the time when I was a little boy because I loved cowboy movies. He got a cowboy name for me, which was Smokey Joe. So from the time I was three years old if people asked me what my name was I didn't tell them my name was William, I told them my name was Smokey Joe."”
Smokey Robinson (born William Robinson on February 19, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American R&B/pop singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson first came to prominence as the founder and front man of the Motown vocal group the Miracles. Not only did he perform with the group, but he was also their chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from it’s founding in 1955 up until 1972 when he announced his retirement from performing so that he could focus on being a music executive for Motown records. However Robinson would not stay off of the stage for long and he returned as a solo artist the following year and had several top ten hits, including “Cruisin” (1979), “Being With You” (1981) and “Just to See Her” (1987). Robinson left Motown Records two years after it was sold in 1988. He was made a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Best Known For:
Smokey Robinson is best know for his his songs “Shop Around” and “Tears of a Clown” when he was a member of The Miracles and for “Cruisin” and “Being With You” as a solo artist.
Robinson married Claudette Rogers, an original member of The Miracles, in 1959. They had two children together, son Berry Robinson (b. 1968), who was named after Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, and daughter Tamla Robinson (b. 1969). Robinson has another son, Trey (b. 1984), born to a woman he was having an affair with, while still married to Claudette. After admitting to the affair, Robinson filed for legal seperation from Claudette and they were granted a divorce in 1986.The Robinsons had separated once before, in 1974, after Robinson admitted to another extramarital affair that became the concept of the song, “The Agony & The Ecstasy”, later featured on A Quiet Storm.