Courtesy of Nick SpanosSmokey Robinson was presented with the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at a star-studded event held Wednesday at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the legendary Motown singer-songwriter was saluted with musical tributes by CeeLo Green, Corrine Bailey Rae, Aloe Blacc, Esperanza Spalding, BeBe Winans and several other artists during the gala.
“This is such a wonderful, spectacular, incredible night in my life,” said Robinson. “I’ve had many of them, and this is right at the top of the list.”
Before Smokey received his Gershwin Prize, Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., hit the stage to pay tribute to his friend of more than 50 years.
“Smokey was always a great poet who expressed ordinary themes in extraordinary ways,” said Gordy, adding, “Smokey, tonight you are about to take your rightful place in the most excellent company imaginable.”
After delivering his own speech, Robinson performed his solo hit “Being with You” followed by, appropriately enough, the George and Ira Gershwin standard “Love Is Here to Stay.”
As a finale, Smokey was joined by the other performers for a rendition of the Robinson-penned Temptations classic “My Girl.”
The tribute event was taped for a PBS special that will premiere on Friday, February 10, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET.
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