William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr. (born February 19, 1940) is an American R&B and soul singer and songwriter. Robinson is noted for being one of the primary figures associated with the Motown record label, second only to the company's founder, Berry Gordy. As both a member of Motown group The Miracles and a solo artist, Robinson recorded seventy Top 40 hits for Motown between 1959 and 1990, and also served as the company's Vice President from 1961 to 1988.
Robinson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and was nicknamed "Smokey" as a child because of his love of westerns. In 1955, Robinson founded a group he called "The Five Chimes" with his best friend Ronnie White, and Northern High School classmates Pete Moore, Clarence Dawson, and James Grice. By 1957, the group was called "The Matadors" and included cousins Bobby Rogers and Claudette Rogers in place of Dawson and Grice. With Robinson as lead singer, the Matadors began touring the local Detroit venues. In 1958, Robinson met songwriter Berry Gordy, Jr., who co-wrote for them the single "Got a Job," an answer song to The Silhouettes' hit single "G...
|Born||February 19, 1940|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, USA|
|Occupation||Singer, songwriter, record producer, record executive|
|Years active||1955 – present|
|Associated acts||The Miracles, The Temptations, Mary Wells|