Music Legend Smokey Robinson to be honored by the United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) announced today that legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson will receive UNCF’s prestigious Award of Excellence on its annual award-winning television special, An Evening of Stars(R). Previous honorees have been Aretha Franklin (2007), Stevie Wonder (2006), Quincy Jones (2005), and the late Lou Rawls (2004). The two-hour concert tribute will be taped at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif. on Sept. 22, 2007, and will air nationwide in late January 2008. Tickets for the taping will go on sale Monday, August 27 through Ticketmaster. “The award honors Smokey not only for his five-decade career as a creative artist, but also for the contribution he has made to helping students get the college education they need and deserve,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO of UNCF. “His work on behalf of UNCF and its mission of minority education ensures that our message will reach the millions of viewers who will tune into this tribute concert,” continued Lomax. “And the creative excellence for which Smokey is known sets a splendid example for our young people and the rest of us as well.” Robinson has received numerous awards including a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctorate from Howard University, and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Born and raised in Detroit, Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school. The group was Berry Gordy’s first vocal group and it was at Robinson’s suggestion that Gordy started the Motown Record dynasty. The Miracles’ single “Shop Around” became Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart. In the years following, Robinson continued to pen hits for the group as well as for other Motown artists including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Girl,” “Get Ready,” “You Beat Me to the Punch,” “Don’t Mess with Bill,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and “My Guy” are just a few of Robinson’s songwriting triumphs during those years.

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