Advertisement
Music

Smokey Robinson named 2016 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honoree

Smokey Robinson
Singer, songwriter, producer and record executive Smokey Robinson has been named the 2016 recipient of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
(Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

Smokey Robinson has been named the Library of Congress’ 2016 recipient for the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

“His rich melodies are works of art — enduring, meaningful and powerful,” acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao said in a statement. “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 will be feted at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in November. He joins the roster of previous Gershwin Prize recipients that includes Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, Carole King, Billy Joel and Willie Nelson.

In addition to his contributions as singer and songwriter with the Miracles and as a solo act, Robinson helped Motown Records under Berry Gordy establish the label as a musical powerhouse.

Advertisement

He gave the company its first million-selling hit with “Shop Around” in 1960, and later also served as as a producer and talent scout, contributing hit songs for Motown acts including the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, the Marvelettes and others.

The Library of Congress established the Gershwin Prize in 2007 to recognize “living musical artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin, by promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding; entertaining and informing audiences; and inspiring new generations.”

ALSO:

Authorities arrest a man after security threats halt the Band Perry’s Delaware show

Advertisement

Zappa family drama: A look at where Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva are today

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band wrap 2016 tour but promise new music is on the horizon

randy.lewis@latimes.com

Follow @RandyLewis2 on Twitter.com

For Classic Rock coverage, join us on Facebook

 


Newsletters
Get our daily Entertainment newsletter
Advertisement