Smokey Robinson's Top Ten Career Highlights

Smokey Robinson celebrated his 76th birthday on February 19, 2016

Born February 19, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan, Smokey Robinson is one of the keys to the phenomenal success of Motown Records. His group, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, was one of the first acts signed to the label by Berry Gordy Jr. Robinson was one of the most successful artists, as a group leader and solo performer, and composed and produced hits for several other acts, including Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Mary Wells, and The Marvelettes, He also served as a Vice-President for the company

Here is a list of "Smokey Robinson's Top Ten Career Highlights." .

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"Shop Around" Hits Number One 1960

Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Redferns

"Shop Around" by The Miracles featuring Bill 'Smokey' Robinson became Motown's first number one hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1960. It was composed by Robinson and Motown founder Berry Gordy, and produced by Gordy. It was also the label's first million-selling record, and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006.

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"My Girl" Hits Number One 1965

The Temptations. Michael Ochs Arcihves

"My Girl," composed and produced by Robinson and Ronald White of The Miracles, became The Temptations' first number one hit in 1965. Robinson says the song was inspired by his wife Claudette Robinson who was a member of The Miracles.

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"The Tears Of A Clown" Hits Number One 1970

Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Michael Ochs Archives

"The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles hit number one in 1970. It was composed by Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Hank Cosby and produced by Robinson and Cosby. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.

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"Being with You" Single and Album Hit Number One 1980/81

Smokey Robinson. Getty Images

The title song of Smokey Robinson's 1981 Being With You  hit number one, and the LP also became his first chart-topping solo album. The song is his biggest solo hit.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Hollywood Walk of Fame 1987

Smokey Robinson. Redferns

In 1987, Smokey Robinson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, and he was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, The Miracles were awarded a Hollywood Star, and in 2012, the group was inducted in the Hall of Fame.

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Songwriters Hall of Fame 1989

Smokey Robinson. WireImage

In 1989, Smokey Robinson was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City..

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Grammy Living Legends 1989

Smokey Robinson. Redferns

In 1989, Smokey Robinson was honored along with Liza Minnelli, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Willie Nelson in the first Grammy Living Legends awards ceremony presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Robinson became the first person to simultaneously be a member of Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and be named a "Grammy Living Legend."

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National Medal of Arts 2002

Smokey Robinson. Getty Images

In 2002, Smokey Robinson received the highest award presented to artists and arts patrons by the United States government, the National Medal of Arts. It is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who "are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States."

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Kennedy Center Honors 2006

The 29th Annual Kennedy Center Honors President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush stand with the Kennedy Center honorees Smokey Robinson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Dolly Parton, and Zubin Mehta in the Blue Room of the White House. Getty Images

In 2006, Smokey Robinson was one of five Kennedy Center honorees, along with Dolly Parton, Zubin Mehta, Steven Spielberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Kennedy Center Honors "provide recognition to living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts."

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"Motown The Musical" Premiere 2013

Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder attend 'Motown: The Musical' Opening Night at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 14, 2013 in New York City. Getty Images

On April 14, 2013, Berry Gordy's Motown The Musical premiered on  Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. Motown legends Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder were among the many stars attending. The play features several songs composed by Robinson and tells the story of how his artistry and close friendship with Gordy was an integral part of the success of Motown Records. Charl Brown portrayed Robinson and earned a 2013 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.