William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr

William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr., is a legendary singer-songwriter, record producer, record executive, and co-founder of Motown Records. Robinson and his group, The Miracles, met Berry Gordy who was impressed with Robinson’s vocals and ambitious songwriting. With his help they released “Got a Job.” It was the beginning of a successful collaboration and the beginnings of Motown.

If any artist could brag about his contribution to the pop culture canon, it’s Smokey Robinson.

His career is filled with so many “he was there” moments it’s a wonder he doesn’t recall them with the swagger of a conquering hero: songwriting and singing as a teenager in Detroit; co-founding Motown Records with Berry Gordy; creating 26 Top 40 hits with his group The Miracles; helping to spark racial integration of popular music in the 1960s; discovering hitmakers like Diana Ross and the Supremes; penning tunes for a jaw-droppingly diverse group of artists including Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, The Jackson Five, Kim Carnes, Linda Ronstadt; and releasing smash hits as solo artist well into the 1980s.