2. Robinson’s group had Motown’s first smash hit.
The Miracles’ had Motown’s first No. 1 smash, “Shop Around.” Other Top 10 hits for the group include classics such as “Tears of a Clown,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “I Second That Emotion” and “Mickey’s Monkey.” Robinson wrote or co-wrote smash hits for Motown label mates, including “My Girl” by the Temptations, “Don’t Mess With Bill” by the Marvelettes and “My Guy” by Mary Wells.
3. He was a record exec in his early 20s.
At age 23, Robinson was made vice president of Motown. He held that position for nearly two decades. He nurtured many rising acts during his tenure but considers his greatest signing to be The Supremes, a singing group started by his friend and neighbor Diana Ross.
4. He has collaborated on duets with top artists including John Legend
Robinson’s latest album, “Smokey & Friends” (Verve Records), was released in September. For this project the singer delivered new duet versions of some of his best loved songs such as “The Tracks of My Tears” with Elton John, “Being With You” with Mary J. Blige, “Ain’t That Peculiar” with James Taylor, “Quiet Storm” with John Legend and “The Tears of a Clown” with Sheryl Crow.