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MusiCares MAP Fund To Honor Smokey Robinson

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The 12th annual MusiCares MAP Fund tribute concert will honor legendary GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson at The Novo by Microsoft (formally Club Nokia) in Los Angeles on May 19.

Robinson will receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award in recognition of his dedication and support of the MusiCares MAP Fund as well as his commitment to helping others with the addiction recovery process.

Performers will include GRAMMY-nominated artists El DeBarge and Kem, and GRAMMY winners Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Cee Lo Green. Robinson will give a closing performance with his touring band. Actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer will host the event. Additional performers will be announced shortly.

“During the course of his 60-year career, Smokey’s stellar repertoire of extraordinary songwriting combined with his unique voice and dynamic performances continues to thrill sold-out audiences and fans worldwide,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of MusiCares and The Recording Academy. “He is also a passionate advocate for the MusiCares MAP Fund, and our work to help members of the music industry facing addiction. It is a genuine pleasure to honor a true musical icon and a courageous supporter of the recovery community.”

“I’ve been blessed to have a truly rewarding career in the music industry and I’ve worn many hats, from artist and songwriter to producer and executive,” said Robinson. “I also have experienced firsthand the ravages of addiction, and the role I’m most proud to be associated with is ‘sober.’ That’s why I’m so honored to receive this MusiCares MAP Fund tribute, because this charity saves lives day after day, all year long.”

An acclaimed singer/songwriter, Robinson’s career spans more than six decades of hits. Born and raised in Detroit, he founded the Miracles while still in high school. The Miracles’ “Shop Around,” which was co-written by Robinson and Berry Gordy, became Motown’s first No. 1 hit on the R&B Singles chart. In the years following, Robinson continued to pen hits for the group, including “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks Of My Tears,” “Going To A Go-Go,” “More Love,” “The Tears Of A Clown,” and “I Second That Emotion.”

The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Robinson became vice president of Motown Records, serving as an in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter. In addition to writing hits for the Miracles, he wrote and produced hits for other Motown greats, including Marvin Gaye, Brenda Holloway, the Temptations, and Mary Wells.

Robinson has received numerous awards, including the GRAMMY Legend Award, The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, four recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, an honorary doctorate from Howard University, Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of Arts Award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He remained vice president of Motown Records until the sale of the company, shaping the label’s success with his friend and mentor Gordy. Following his tenure at Motown, Robinson has continued his impressive touring career and released several successful solo albums.

All proceeds from the tribute concert will benefit the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment regardless of their financial situation.

 


Smokey Robinson to receive award for charitable efforts

Smokey Robinson accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2015 BET Awards in Los Angeles, June 28, 2015.

NEW YORK – Smokey Robinson is getting an award – this time for his charitable efforts.

The icon will be honored on May 19 by the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment regardless of their financial situation.

Singers CeeLo Green, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, El DeBarge and Kem will perform in honor of Robinson at The Novo in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale Monday.

Robinson will receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award, which was given to Pete Townshend at last year’s benefit concert.

The 76-year-old Robinson also will perform at the event, to be hosted by comedian-actor Cedric the Entertainer. Additional performers will be announced at a later date.


Smokey Robinson Remembers Natalie Cole: She Was ‘One of Our Greatest Musical Icons’

Smokey Robinson Remembers Natalie Cole: She Was ‘One of Our Greatest Musical Icons’

 

The world lost a brilliant talent last week when singer Natalie Cole died at age 65. Now, Cole’s friend and fellow music legend, Smokey Robinson, shares with ET his memories of the late songstress.

“Natalie was so cool, she was down to earth,” Robinson said of his “instant friendship” with Cole.

The 75-year-old “Tracks of My Tears” singer said that Cole was “one of our greatest musical icons,” but admitted that it was clear she wasn’t doing well in the months leading up to her death.

WATCH: Natalie Cole Dead at 65

“About nine months or so ago, we did a concert together in Arizona, and when I saw her that day she didn’t look good to me,” Robinson recalled. “She lost a lot of weight and stuff, and I could tell because I had known her for so long and [we were] so close.”

Cole died on Dec. 31 from congestive heart failure at a hospital in Los Angelesafter suffering ongoing health issues.

“The last time I was able to talk to her was the night of the concert, before I went on,” Robinson said. “We hugged and talked and that was the last time I had a chance to have a good talk with her.”

PHOTOS: Stars We’ve Lost in Recent Years

Robinson hit it off immediately with Cole — who was the daughter of famed jazz singer and pianist Nat King Cole — when they first met after the release of her 1975 hit. “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love.”

Robinson said it’s his friendship and conversations with Cole that he’s going to miss the most.

“Just being able to say, ‘Hey Nat, how are you doing baby?’ Sit down and talk like that. That is what I am going to miss, because we spent a lot of time together,” Robinson said.

WATCH: Dionne Warwick, Questlove, Cher, Gigi Hadid and More Share Touching Tributes to Natalie Cole

“I hope even people that don’t or didn’t get a chance to know her personally will understand that her legacy is that she was a wonderful lady,” Robinson added. “She is going to live on and on and on. She made great music and people who knew her loved her.”