LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — Legendary Motown icon and Grammy® award-winning songwriter, Smokey Robinson, has signed a record deal with Verve Music Group. Robinson was signed to the label by its Chairman, David Foster, to release his 29th career LP, a special duets album, due out this coming fall. The album will also be guided by highly regarded A&R executive, Jay Landers. In addition, Robinson made a surprise appearance on last night’s American Idol where he served as a mentor to the show’s contestants. During the broadcast, Idol host Ryan Seacrest brought attention to Robinson’s forthcoming album and spotlighted the artist’s new project.
“I’m really excited about signing with Verve Music Group to release this upcoming album,” said Smokey Robinson. “Not only do I have a musical history with the guys involved, but a longstanding friendship as well. I’m looking forward to bringing our talents to the table as we collaborate on this project.”
“From the early 60’s to this very day, you can turn on a radio anywhere in the world and hear his music,” said David Foster, Verve Music Group Chairman. “Smokey Robinson’s contributions to the world of music as a performer, producer and songwriter are nothing short of a ‘miracle’. I’m so pleased to welcome Smokey to the Verve Music Group family. We’re looking forward to a great collaboration worthy of the legacy of this great label.”
The album, which is due out in the fourth quarter of 2013, features Robinson performing his greatest hits alongside a celebrated roster of contemporary and classic artists whose influence will span the depth of Robinson’s stellar 50 plus year career. Unlike any other duet-themed project produced to date, this unique album will include hits all written by Robinson, such as all-time favorites: “My Girl,” “Cruisin,” and “The Tears of a Clown,” to name a few.
ABOUT SMOKEY ROBINSON Once pronounced by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet,” acclaimed singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson’s career spans over four decades of hits. He has received numerous awards including two Grammy’s, the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school. The group was Berry Gordy’s first vocal group, and it was at Robinson’s suggestion that Gordy started the Motown Records dynasty. Their single of Robinson’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart. In the years following, Robinson continued to pen hits for the group, including “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “More Love,” “The Tears of a Clown” (co-written with Stevie Wonder), and “I Second That Emotion.”
The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960’s and early 70’s and Robinson became Vice President of Motown Records serving as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter.
In addition to writing hits for The Miracles, Robinson wrote and produced hits for other Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Girl,” “Get Ready,” “You Beat Me to the Punch,” “Don’t Mess with Bill,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and “My Guy” are just a few of his songwriting triumphs during those years.
John Lennon of The Beatles made countless remarks regarding Robinson’s influence on his music. The Beatles had recorded Robinson and The Miracles’ “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” in 1963 and in 1982 another popular British group, The Rolling Stones, covered the Robinson and the Miracles’ hit, “Going To A Go-Go.”
He later turned to a solo career where he continued his tradition of hit making with “Just to See Her,” “Quiet Storm,” “Cruisin’,” and “Being with You,” among others.
He remained Vice President of Motown records until the sale of the company, shaping the label’s success with friend and mentor Berry Gordy. Following his tenure at Motown, Robinson has released several successful solo albums and continues his impressive touring career to date.
During the course of his 50 plus year career in music, Robinson has accumulated more than 4,000 songs to his credit and continues to thrill sold-out audiences around the world with his high tenor voice, impeccable timing, and profound sense of lyric. Never resting on his laurels, Smokey Robinson remains a beloved icon in our musical heritage.