Motown great William ”Smokey” Robinson is the eighth winner of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The 76-year-old Robinson’s expected to receive the award in Washington in November.
As the Library of Congress put it, after a career that’s spanned over half-a-century, Robinson ”is considered the poet laureate of soul. His velvet falsetto and incomparable mastery of lyrical verse have created a tapestry of hits that have transcended generations and become a mainstay in American pop music.”
His work as a producer and record executive is also credited with helping create the ”Motown sound”.
Robinson who also performed along with and led the Miracles is a Grammy winner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center honoree and a winner of the presidential National medal of Arts award.
Named for songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, the prize honours living artists whose lifetime contributions in popular music are considered to exemplify a standard of excellence.
His hits include ”The Tracks of My Tears,” ”The Tears of a Clown” and ”I Second That Emotion”.
Previous winners include Paul McCartney, Steve Wonder and Paul Simon.