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Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

  • 🇺🇸 Detroit, MI
  • Years Active
    1955 - 2011
The Miracles, led by singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, were one of Motown Records' first and most successful acts, releasing a series of classic singles that were instrumental in shaping the Motown Sound.

The Miracles formed in Detroit in 1955 and consisted of Robinson, his childhood friend Ronald White, Pete Moore, Bobby Rogers and his cousin Claudette Rogers, the latter becoming Mrs. Smokey Robinson in late 1959. Guitarist Marv Tarplin later rounded out the classic lineup. Robinson was the Miracles' primary lead vocalist and chief songwriter, penning many of their hit songs; he was also a prolific writer and producer for other Motown acts, wielding a creative influence over the label exceeded only by Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr.

The Miracles' breakout single, 1960's "Shop Around," was Motown's first million-selling record, climbing to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart - a remarkable crossover achievement for a Black-owned independent label. Follow-up singles like "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "Mickey's Monkey," "Ooo Baby Baby" and "The Tracks of My Tears" showcased Robinson's smooth and distinctive tenor voice, accompanied by the Miracles' tight harmonies, as well as his clever, heartfelt lyrics and soulful, unforgettable melodies.

The Miracles' commercial fortunes dimmed in the late 1960s, although the group scored its first-ever number one pop hit with 1970's "The Tears of a Clown," originally recorded in 1967 and plucked from obscurity by the head of the British division of the Motown Fan Club. Robinson left the Miracles in 1972, releasing his first solo LP, Smokey, the following year; the remaining members of the group replaced him with a new lead singer, Billy Griffin, and in in 1975 topped the charts with the disco blockbuster "Love Machine," which moved more than 4.5 million copies - the best-selling single of the Miracles' career.

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