Smokey Robinson is a Multi-talented American performer, song writer and music producer whose life and career is inextricably connected with Motown Records’ founder Berry Gordy. Smokey Robinson net worth is estimated at $100 million.
Alternatively known as the “King of Motown,” he founded the R&B group The Miracles, that delivered 37 Top 40 hits for Motown Records. He is prolific singer and songwriter. He is credited with 4,000 songs and 37 Top 40 hits, including Tears of a Clown, Love Machine, and Tracks of My Tears. He also served as the vice president of Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, writing and making hit songs for groups such as Mary Wells and The Temptations.
Smokey Robinson Biography
William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. was born on the 19th of February 1940 to an African-American parents into a poor family residing in the North End of Detroit, Michigan, United States. He was nick-named “Smokey Joe” by his uncle when he was a child. He was a student of Northern High School where he was just above average academically and also a keen athlete even though his main interest was entertainment and he formed a group named the Five Chimes.
In 1955, he organized the first lineup of his group the Five Chimes with his classmate Pete Moore and childhood friend Ronald White. Two years later they were renamed the Matadors and were joined by Bobby Roger. The Matadors began to tour and perform around Detroit venues around this time and subsequently changed their name to the Miracles.
Smokey Robinson Career
From making songs with his formed world-famous group The Miracles, Smokey Robinson met with producer Berry Gordy Jr. and signed a life-changing deal with Motown Records.
With The Miracles, Smokey Robinson made a couple of notable hits. His first big hit with the group Shop Around (1960), followed by series of hit songs such as You Really Got a Hold on Me (1962) and I Second That Emotion (1967). He worked behind the scenes, writing and producing for The Miracles as well as other Motown artists, such as The Temptations and Mary Wells. His inputs contributed to the success of Gordy’s Motown Records and helped promote the popularity of soul music.
In 1972, Smokey Robinson decided to leave the group and went solo, creating for himself, a more mellow sound.
Often associated with romantic soul music, Smokey released such successful albums as Touch the Sky (1983) and A Quiet Storm (1974). The mid-80s were a tough time for him as he struggled with a drug addiction. He openly discussed his cocaine issues as well as many other personal problems in his 1989 autobiography, Smokey: Inside My Life. His recovery from substance abuse has been credited to his religious faith.
As a solo artist, Robinson went on to win a Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance in 1987, for the song Just To See Her. His later recordings as a solo artist included Double Good Everything (1991) and Intimate (1999). In 2004 he turned a new direction with his work releasing a collection of music which reflected his spiritual beliefs, titled Food for the Spirit.
Smokey Robinson continues to perform live in his still active career. While at it, he is also busy as a public speaker, talking about his personal experience to interesting groups. He is engaged in recording more music while maintaining a busy tour schedule. In 2009, he released the album Time Flies When You Having Fun, and till date, decades since his debut, he is still a very active musician, composing, recording and performing his songs across cities in the world.
Honours & Achievements
In 2006, Smokey Robinson was selected as a Kennedy Center Honoree particularly for his contributions to the American culture and arts. He was honored with an honorary degree from Howard University. That same year, he put out a new album,
Timeless Love, which offered his own take on classic songs, such as the Gershwin brothers’ Our Love Is Here to Stay and Cole Porter’s Night and Day.
Smokey Robinson Personal life, Marriage & Children
Smokey Robinson is married to Frances Gladney. Their wedding took place in May 2002. Their home in Pittsburgh is currently used as a winery.
Smokey Robinson’s first marriage was in 1959 to Claudette Rogers a fellow Miracles member. They had two children, son Berry Robinson (born 1968), named after Berry Gordy, and daughter Tamla Robinson (born 1971), named after the original “Tamla” record label set up by Berry Gordy that would eventually become Motown. He had another son, Trey (born 1984), with another woman, while married to Claudette. After his admittance, he filed for divorce, which was granted in 1986.
Smokey Robinson Net Worth
Smokey Robinson net worth is $100 million, a fortune primarily accumulated through his successful musical career. Asides doing music, the talented soul singer likes to explore business opportunities. He owns a food company which he named Smokey Robinson Foods, which deals with a line of ready-to-eat meals. His food company and record sales are the chief source of his wealth, and considering his proposed tours and activities in the industry, one can only expect a continual growth of Smokey Robinson net worth.