R&B and soul music would be a much different thing without Smokey Robinson. Since the late 1950s Robinson has been shaping American music, and in turn influencing music around the world. He's produced almost 40 Top 40 Hits in his career, and has shown a rare tenacity in his field, continuing to make records and stay in the public spotlight to this day. A house writer and longtime vice-president for Motown, his reach goes far beyond the records that bear his name. Smokey turns 71 today and we wish him a happy birthday as we survey a tiny portion of the great, expertly crafted music he's made. (Dennis Cook)
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