By Jonathan Hailey
Living legend Smokey Robinson has given music fans countless classic hits to dance and make memories to. Because of his contribution to the music industry, the Library of Congress is awarding him with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Robinson, who’s penned more than a dozen Top 40 hits for everyone from The Jackson Five to Marvin Gaye, was called the “poet laureate of soul” in a statement announcing the award.
In a statement responding to the honor, Robinson said, “It gives me such joy and gratitude to be included among the past recipients of this most prestigious songwriting award.”
The award honors a living musician’s lifetime body of work in promoting songs as a means to cultural understanding, inspiring new generations and entertaining audiences. Smokey will receive the award in November in our nation’s capital. Past winners have included Stevie Wonder, Carole King, and Billy Joel.
Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao said in a statement, “As a singer, songwriter, producer and record executive, Smokey Robinson is a musical legend. His rich melodies are works of art—enduring, meaningful and powerful. 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.”