It was announced today that Motown legend Smokey Robinson has been awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the eighth-ever honoree to receive the esteemed title. The Miracles frontman joins music icons like Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and others on the brief, venerated list of Gershwin Prize winners for his songwriting contributions both as a member of the platinum-selling R&B group and as a solo artist.
“As a singer, songwriter, producer, and record executive, Smokey Robinson is a musical legend. His rich melodies are works of art — enduring, meaningful, and powerful,” said current Librarian of Congress David S. Mao. “And he is a master at crafting lyrics that speak to the heart and soul, expressing ordinary themes in an extraordinary way. It is that quality in his music that makes him one of the greatest poetic songwriters of our time.”
Robinson’s songwriting prowess can be observed in countless Motown classics, including “Shop Around” and “The Tears of a Clown” by The Miracles, as well as “Get Ready” and “My Girl” by The Temptations, “My Guy” by Mary Wells, “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye and “Floy Joy” for The Supremes, on top of dozens of others. Undeniably adept at penning revolutionary hits and heading one of the most highly decorated Motown groups of all time, Robinson is indisputably deserving of this award, having made an indelible mark on music history as one of the most influential, revered artists of all time.
Robinson said in a statement, “It gives me such joy and gratitude to be included among the past recipients of this most prestigious songwriting award.” The awards ceremony will be held in November in Washington, D.C.