Smokey Robinson, 82, Explains Why He’ll Never Retire from Music …

Smokey Robinson may be a seasoned veteran of the music industry, but that doesn’t mean he has any plans to slow down.

The Motown legend, 82, is set to release a new studio album in April, and tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue that making music is still his biggest passion.

“It’s what I love,” he says. “I can’t find anything that replaces this for me.”

GASMS, out on April 28, will mark Robinson’s first solo studio album in nearly 10 years. The record will feature nine songs written and produced by the former Miracles frontman, including the first single “If We Don’t Have Each Other.”

“I retired one time. I retired for about three years, and I was climbing the walls,” he says. “It’s not about me making time. It’s about me raring to go and do it. Everybody gets a gift from God, and mine was to be able to write music.”

For more on Smokey Robinson, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy in 1981.
Joan Adlen/Getty

That musicianship has served Robinson well, and on Feb. 3, he and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy will be honored together as the 2023 MusiCares Persons of the Year, the first time the prize has gone to two individuals.

“This is a really special thing for me,” he says of being recognized by the Recording Academy’s philanthropic arm. “They’ve given it to me and Berry, who is my best friend, and he most certainly deserves it.”

The pair’s working relationship stretches back nearly 65 years, when Robinson and the Miracles became one of the first artists signed to Gordy’s label. Their serendipitous meeting came about after Robinson auditioned unsuccessfully for Jackie Wilson’s manager. Though that was a bust, he caught Gordy’s attention, and soon the future executive filled Robinson in on his plans for the future.

“He said, ‘I’m going to start my own record company. We are not just going to make Black music. We’re going to make music for everybody,’ ” Robinson recalls of their meeting. “Berry and I talk about it all the time—we never dared to dream that Motown would become what it has.”


Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also
Back to top button