- Title: Smokey Robinson receives prestigious Gershwin Prize
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SINGER-SONGWRITER CORINNE BAILEY RAE SAYING: "His writing really- he sort of exemplifies a really radical, sort of masculine gentleness which I don't think we see often enough now. And certainly he was radical at the time when it was such a difficult time politically for African American people. He just has this sort of gliding gentleness and vulnerability even though people really are in a sort of war, and that impresses me a lot."
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 06:31
- Keywords: Smokey Robinson R&B Gershwin Prize Library of Congress music award prize artists musicians Washington Barry Gordy concert Samuel L Jackson Cee lo Green jo jo
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C, UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA00858TZB5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: R&B singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson said he was "absolutely so overjoyed" to receive the honorable Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, Wednesday (November 16) during a tribute concert in Washington, DC.
Robinson is the eighth recipient of the prize that honors individuals for lifetime achievement in popular music. The award is named after songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin.
"I wrote Diana Ross' first three records. I brought Diana Ross to Motown," Robinson told reporters before the show at Washington's DAR Constitution Hall.
The private concert featured Aloe Blacc, Cee Lo Green, JoJo, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Tenors among others and was hosted by actor Samuel L. Jackson.
The artists not only paid tribute to Robinson by performing some of his songs, but spoke fondly of him to reporters before the concert.
"He sort of exemplifies a really radical, sort of masculine gentleness which I don't think we see often enough now," said British singer Corinne Bailey Rae.
"Smokey Robinson is one of my all time favorites and one of the all time greats. Absolutely," said Grammy-winning R&B singer Cee Lo Green.
The Gershwin Prize "celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding," according to the Library of Congress.
Robinson's career has spanned more than fifty years. Some consider Robinson the poet laureate of soul.
"He, during his time, his love songs, his truth, his honesty- during his time of songwriting I think if you checked the census you'll find that more babies were born than any other time. A lot of them his (laughs). No, no, just kidding," said Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records.
Gordy helped grow Robinson's career, as well as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder and many other artists.
Previous recipients of the award include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson and the songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David.
The recipient is decided upon by the Librarian of Congress and a credible board, which often includes a selection of scholars, producers, performers, songwriters, music critics among others.
The tribute concert will air on PBS, February 10, 2017.
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