Smokey Robinson Net Worth, Career, Wife, Personal Life & More

Smokey Robinson, an American R&B and pop singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive, has a net worth of $150 million. Known for pioneering the Motown sound, Robinson was a key figure in the Miracles, …

Smokey Robinson, an American R&B and pop singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive, has a net worth of $150 million. Known for pioneering the Motown sound, Robinson was a key figure in the Miracles, a vocal group that achieved immense success during the Motown era. After leaving the group, he enjoyed a thriving solo career and served as vice president of Motown Records. In 1987, Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Where Did Smokey Robinson Grow Up?

William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. was born on February 19, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up in a poor household in Detroit’s North End, he earned the nickname “Smokey” from his uncle Claude, who called him “Smokey Joe” after taking him to cowboy movies. Eventually, Robinson dropped “Joe” and went by “Smokey.”

How Did Smokey Robinson Start His Musical Journey?

During high school, Smokey formed a doo-wop group called the Five Chimes. His passion for music led him to listen to a wide range of artists on the radio, including Nolan Strong & the Diablos and Billy Ward and his Dominoes. The Five Chimes eventually became the Matadors, laying the foundation for his future success.

What Were the Miracles’ Early Years Like?

In the late 1950s, the Matadors changed their name to the Miracles and connected with songwriter Berry Gordy in 1957. Gordy helped the Miracles release their first single, “Got a Job.” At the time, Robinson was studying electrical engineering in college but dropped out after the single’s success.

How Did Smokey Robinson Influence Motown Records?

Gordy formed Tamla Records, which later became Motown Records. The Miracles’ hit single “Shop Around” in 1960 sold over a million copies. Over the next decade, the group produced numerous hits like “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “Mickey’s Monkey.” Robinson was the primary singer, songwriter, and producer, leading the group to change their name to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles in 1965.

What Songs Did Smokey Robinson Write for Other Artists?

Besides his work with the Miracles, Robinson wrote and produced many songs for other Motown artists, including the Temptations, the Marvelettes, and Marvin Gaye. His contributions helped define the Motown sound, although he stopped writing for others when new songwriters joined Motown.

Why Did Smokey Robinson Consider Retiring?

By 1969, Robinson wanted to retire due to the toll constant touring had taken on him. However, the group’s hit “Tears of a Clown” convinced him to stay a few more years. He finally left the Miracles in 1972 but did not retire from music.

How Did Smokey Robinson’s Solo Career Begin?

In 1973, Robinson launched his solo career with the album “Smokey,” followed by “Pure Smokey” in 1974. Although these albums were well-received, they did not achieve significant commercial success due to competition from established solo artists like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

When Did Smokey Robinson Find Solo Success?

Robinson’s solo breakthrough came in 1975 with the album “A Quiet Storm,” featuring hits like “Baby That’s Backatcha” and “Quiet Storm.” However, he later focused more on his role as Motown’s vice president, leading to less promotion for his subsequent albums.

What Were Smokey Robinson’s Major Solo Hits?

In 1979, Robinson released the successful single “Cruisin’,” followed by the chart-topping “Being with You” in 1981. His 1987 album “One Heartbeat” included top-ten singles such as “Just to See Her” and “One Heartbeat.” After Motown was acquired by RCA in 1988, Robinson focused entirely on his solo career.

Who Has Smokey Robinson Been Married To?

Robinson’s first marriage was to Claudette Rogers, a member of the Miracles. The couple had two children before Robinson fathered a third child with another woman, leading to their divorce in 1986. In 2002, Smokey married Frances Gladney.

What Real Estate Does Smokey Robinson Own?

In 2002, Robinson sold his Encino, Los Angeles home for $2.3 million. This 10,600-square-foot estate, built in 1912, sits on 1.5 acres and includes English-style gardens. The property sold again in 2017 for $8.3 million. In 2014, Robinson listed another mansion in Chatsworth, Los Angeles, for $7.99 million. This 9,075-square-foot property, which includes a 2,000-square-foot guest house, had struggled to find a buyer after being initially listed for $10.5 million in 2005.

How Has Smokey Robinson’s Career Evolved?

Throughout the decades, Robinson continued to release singles and albums and collaborated with various artists. His influence on the music industry, particularly the Motown sound, remains significant, and he continues to be celebrated for his contributions to music.

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