Smokey Robinson Parents? Smokey Robinson Jr. was born to his parents, William Robinson, Sr. and Flossie Mae Robinson (nee. Smith), on February 19, 1940.
William “Smokey” Robinson Jr., once pronounced by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet,” boasts an illustrious career spanning over four decades as a singer-songwriter.
The Detroit, Michigan-born Robinson founded The Miracles during high school, marking the genesis of Berry Gordy’s Motown Record dynasty.
Beyond his own group, Robinson wrote and produced hits for Motown legends such as The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, and Marvin Gaye.
His impact extended globally, influencing artists like John Lennon and earning him numerous accolades, including the Grammy Living Legend Award and induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Transitioning to a successful solo career, Robinson continued his tradition of hitmaking with songs like “Just to See Her,” “Quiet Storm,” and “Cruisin’.”
Despite the sale of Motown, Robinson’s enduring presence in the music industry, with over 4,000 songs to his credit, reflects a remarkable legacy, solidifying his status as a beloved icon in musical history.
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Smokey Robinson Parents: Father William Robinson & Mother Flossie Robinson
Smokey Robinson Parents? Smokey Robinson’s parents, William Robinson, Sr. and Flossie, faced challenging circumstances in their early lives.
Flossie Mae Smith, born in Memphis, Tennessee, tragically passed away when Smokey was just 10 years old. This loss profoundly impacted him, describing it as the moment “the world stopped.”
On the other hand, his father had a very rough childhood, experiencing racial discrimination.
Additionally, Smokey shared a special bond with his uncle Claude, who affectionately gave him the nickname “Smokey Joe” during his childhood.
Early Life of His Father William Robinson Sr
Smokey Robinson Parents? Smokey Robinson’s father, William Robinson, Sr., faced profound challenges during his early years in Selma, Alabama.
Born in 1896, William began working as a paperboy at the tender age of 10, enduring relentless bullying and theft orchestrated by an older white teenager.
In a racially charged environment where complaints seemed futile, William’s father, who was Black, found himself in a precarious situation.
His meager earnings were regularly pilfered by his older bully, adding a layer of racial tension to the injustice. After two years of enduring this hardship, William Sr. decided to take matters into his own hands.
Armed with a boy scout knife, he confronted his 17-year-old tormentor during a payday encounter. The confrontation resulted in William Sr. defending himself, plunging the knife into the bully’s leg, and putting an end to the theft.
However, fearing retaliation from the teen and his community, William Sr., then 12 years old, made a poignant decision.
To protect his family from potential repercussions, he walked to the railroad tracks and hopped a train out of town, choosing a transient life before settling in Cleveland at the age of 19.
This harrowing experience reflects not only William Sr.’s resilience but also the harsh realities of racial tensions in early 20th-century Alabama.
Smokey Robinson As A Parent
Smokey Robinson’s personal life has been marked by joy and challenges, particularly in his relationships and fatherhood.
The four-time Grammy-winning artist and songwriter takes pride in his three children—son Berry and daughter Tamla with ex-wife Claudette Rogers, and son Trey from an affair with a woman he refers to as “Kandi.”
The revelation of Trey’s birth outside of marriage led to the end of Robinson’s 27-year marriage with Rogers. Despite the complexities, Robinson maintains close relationships with all three children.
His firstborn, Berry William Borope Robinson, and daughter Tamla Claudette Robinson were from his marriage with Claudette Rogers, who faced fertility struggles.
The couple also named their daughter after Motown’s original name, Tamla Records. Trey Robinson, born from Robinson’s affair with Kandi, chose a private life away from the spotlight.
Robinson’s second marriage to Frances Glandney in 2002 brought a new chapter, with the couple sharing the same birthday.
While Robinson acknowledges the challenges of his past, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining good relationships with the people in his life.