Smokey Robinson Net Worth: Inside the Icons $150M Legacy

May 22, 2024

Smokey Robinson is a name synonymous with the smooth tunes and prolific songwriting that defined an era of music. Born William "Smokey" Robinson Jr. on February 19, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan, Robinson's journey from humble beginnings to becoming a cultural icon is nothing short of remarkable.

Early Life

Smokey was raised in a poor household on the North End of Detroit. His nickname, "Smokey," was given by his uncle Claude, who affectionately called him "Smokey Joe," a name inspired by their shared love for cowboy movies. Music was a major part of Smokey's life from an early age. Influenced by groups like Nolan Strong & the Diablos and Willie Ward and the Dominoes, he formed a doo-wop group called the Five Chimes in high school. This group would later evolve into The Miracles.

"Smokey Robinson by Gage Skidmore" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Career with The Miracles

Founded in 1955, The Miracles, under Smokey's leadership, became a cornerstone of the Motown sound. As the group's main songwriter and producer, Smokey penned multiple chart-topping hits, including "Shop Around," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," and "The Tears of a Clown." His collaboration with Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, marked the beginning of a career that would eventually span more than six decades.

Transition to Solo Career

In 1972, Robinson announced his retirement from music to focus on his role as vice president of Motown Records. However, he soon returned as a solo artist, releasing hits like "Cruisin'" and "Being With You," which showcased his versatility and enduring talent. His involvement with Motown continued until 1990, when he left the label following its sale.

"Smokey Robinson" by Dwightmccann Dwight McCann, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5. To view a copy of this license, visit

Continued Success and Recent Work

Despite stepping down from his executive role, Robinson remained active in the music industry. In April 2023, at the age of 83, he released a new album titled "Gasms," proving that his passion for music remained undiminished. Smokey has also been involved in various collaborations and continues to inspire new generations of artists and fans.

Personal Life

Smokey's personal life has seen its share of challenges and triumphs. He married Claudette Rogers, a fellow member of The Miracles, in 1959, and the couple had two children before divorcing in 1986. Smokey later married Frances Gladney in 2002. Aside from his music career, he practices a healthy lifestyle, including Transcendental Meditation and abstaining from red meat since 1972.

Net Worth and Lifestyle

As of 2024, Smokey Robinson's estimated net worth is $150 million. His wealth comes from various sources, including record sales, royalties, live performances, real estate investments, and media appearances. Notably, he has owned several lavish properties, including a mansion in Encino, Los Angeles, sold for $2.3 million in 2002, and a Californian mansion in Chatsworth listed for $7.99 million in 2014. These properties feature lush amenities, from private pools and guest houses to expansive gardens and entertainment rooms.

"Rick James feat. Smokey Robinson - Ebony Eyes (1983)" by Soul Portrait is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Car Collection

Robinson's love for luxury extends to his car collection. Among his prized possessions is a Chevrolet Suburban with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, producing 403 horsepower. This vehicle is equipped with state-of-the-art features, including a Bose surround sound system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and high-quality vinyl interiors, showcasing his taste for elegance and performance.

Recognitions and Awards

Robinson's contributions to music have been recognized with numerous awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and received the prestigious Library of Congress Gershwin Prize in 2016. In 2022, he earned a place on the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame, among many other accolades that affirm his lasting impact on the music world.

Year Event Details
1940 Birth Born William "Smokey" Robinson Jr. on February 19 in Detroit, Michigan.
1955 Formation of The Miracles Founded the doo-wop group, The Miracles, marking the start of his successful music career.
1972 Retirement Announcement Announced retirement from music to focus on his role as Motown Records' vice president.
1986 Divorce Divorced Claudette Rogers, fellow member of The Miracles.
2002 Remarriage Married Frances Gladney.
2023 New Album Released a new album titled "Gasms" at the age of 83.
2024 Net Worth Estimated net worth of $150 million.

Legacy and Influence

Smokey Robinson's influence on the music industry is both profound and enduring. From his early days with The Miracles, shaping the Motown sound, to his successful solo career and continued dedication to his craft, Smokey's contribution transcends generations. His songs remain timeless classics, resonating with audiences worldwide and ensuring that his legacy will continue to inspire for years to come.

JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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