living legends

Smokey Robinson Will Receive the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize

A Capitol Fourth
Photo: Paul Morigi/2016 Getty Images

This November, the track of Smokey Robinson’s tears will surely be one of joy when the Motown legend receives the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. The New York Times reports that Robinson is set to be the eighth musician honored with the award, which in past years has been bestowed upon Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

An official statement the Library of Congress stated: “His velvet falsetto and incomparable mastery of lyrical verse have created a tapestry of hits that have transcended generations and become a mainstay in American pop music,” adding, “As a producer, record executive and visionary, Robinson helped lead a musical revolution called the Motown sound.” Robinson is mostly remembered for his ’60s hits with the Miracles like “The Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “Going to a Go-Go,” but he also served behind the scenes as a writer of other hits for the era’s powerhouses, like the Temptations (“My Girl”) and Mary Wells (“My Guy”). The septuagenarian takes home this particular honor nearly 30 years after he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Smokey Robinson to Receive Gershwin Prize