Icons don't come much bigger than one William “Smokey” Robinson, among the most legendary and prolific singers and songwriters of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will perform a slew of hits he wrote or performed for the Miracles, the Temptations, and during his last four decades as a solo artist, on Feb. 21 at the Emerald Queen Casino, the new date for his recently rescheduled Jan. 18 appearance there.
Based on previous appearances at the casino, fans can expect the silky-voiced “poet laureate of soul” to deliver “Tears of a Clown,” “My Girl,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Quiet Storm,” among other hits. And perhaps he'll toss in a few tracks from his most recent studio recording, 2009's “Time Flies When You're Having Fun.”
“The title of this CD depicts my life because I love my life,” Robinson said in 2011. “I love the fact that I’m extremely blessed, because I get a chance to live a life that I love. I get a chance to do a craft that I love. I get a chance to do a job that I love. When your job is something that you absolutely love, that’s a blessing. I have never taken that for granted. I don’t trip on ‘Smokey Robinson.’ You talk about 50 years going by overnight? That’s exactly what has happened.”
The Detroit native first joined forces with Berry Gordy, Jr., founder of the legendary record label Motown, in the late 1950s. Smokey Robinson first rose to fame as a member of the Miracles. The group’s 1960 hit “Shop Around” helped establish Motown as a major player in American popular music. The group placed 25 songs in the Top 40 during the decade, including classics such as “I Second That Emotion” and “Going To A Go-Go.” In 1970 they released one of their more popular tunes, “The Tears Of A Clown.”
Smokey Robinson wrote many songs for other Motown acts. Mary Wells had a big hit in 1964 with a song he wrote, “My Guy.” He was a primary songwriter for the Temptations, and penned such hits as “My Girl” and “Get Ready.”
He left the Miracles in 1972 to pursue a solo career. “Cruisin’” and “Being With You” were among his bigger hits. Smokey Robinson has been the recipient of a Grammy (for 1987’s “Just To See Her”), and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
In 1991 he received the Soul Train Music Award for Career Achievement, and in 1999 the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a rare double-honoree of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – as a solo artist and member of The Miracles.
Smokey Robinson will headline the Emerald Queen's I-5 showroom just two days removed from his 74th birthday. Music will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 21. Tickets are still available with prices ranging from $50 to $100. For further details, visit www.emeraldqueen.com or call the box office at (888) 831-7655. Dinner and hotel packages also available.