This Day in Black History: Feb. 19, 1940

Smokey Robinson was born in Detroit. 

Posted: 02/19/2014 12:00 AM EST

As one of the most influential singers and songwriters of popular music, Smokey Robinson received his start at Motown Records in Detroit, his hometown. Robinson was born in the Motor City on Feb. 19, 1940.

Robinson was part of the group the Miracles, which scored several popular R&B songs in the 1960s. This includes "Shop Around," "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "I Second That Emotion." Robinson also had his hand in songwriting for other Motown stars such as Mary Wells and the Temptations, in turn defining the soulful sounds of the time.

In 1972, Smokey Robinson went solo and released the albums A Quiet Storm (1974) and Touch the Sky (1983). In 1988, he won his first Grammy for his song "Just to See Her." Overall, Robinson has released a total of 23 studio albums.

The legendary artist has been given many top accolades including being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2006. Today, Robinson still performs, and in 2012 he was a contestant on the popular television show Dancing With the Stars.

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Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege.

 (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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