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Smokey Robinson honoured with US pop prize

Associated Press Associated Press 6/07/2016

Motown great Smokey Robinson has been awarded the US Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The lifetime achievement award is named for the duo of George and Ira Gershwin and was created by Congress to honour songwriters who entertain, inform and inspire. Past recipients include Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson and Stevie Wonder.

Robinson, 76, has writing credits on more than 4000 songs, and was behind some of the biggest hits in Motown history. As the lead singer of the Miracles, he wrote and performed You've Really Got a Hold on Me, The Tracks of My Tears and I Second That Emotion. He also wrote some of the Temptations' best-known songs, including My Girl, Get Ready and The Way You Do the Things You Do.

"It gives me such joy and gratitude to be included among the past recipients of this most prestigious songwriting award," Robinson said in a statement.

Born in Detroit, Robinson collaborated closely with Motown founder Berry Gordy, working as a producer and talent scout in addition to his songwriting duties. He was the label's vice president for nearly 30 years.

In addition to the Temptations, he wrote for Marvin Gaye, Brenda Holloway and the Marvelettes, among others, and the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson are among the artists who've cited him as an influence.

Robinson will accept the prize in Washington in November.

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