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Smokey Robinson Added To All-Star Aretha Franklin Grammy Tribute

Smokey Robinson is the latest guest to appear at the star-studded concert honouring late soul legend Aretha Franklin at Aretha! A Grammy Celebration.

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Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin
Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin. Photo: Brian French

Motown icon and Grammy Award winner Smokey Robinson is the latest guest scheduled to appear at the star-studded concert honouring late soul legend Aretha Franklin at Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul on 13 Jan 2019.

Robinson and Franklin’s relationship went beyond the music industry, having first met when Franklin’s family moved to Detroit from Buffalo and Robinson was just eight years-old. The two became lifelong friends even after Franklin signed to Columbia and Robinson joined the Motown family.

Robinson will pay tribute to his childhood friend and joins a number of previously announced performers that includes Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Alessia Cara, Brandi Carlile, Chloe X Halle, Kelly Clarkson, Common, Celine Dion, H.E.R., Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe, SZA, and BeBe Winans.

Serving as emcee for the evening will be actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry. The live concert will take place on Sunday, 13 January 2019, at the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast on CBS in the US.

Franklin died of pancreatic cancer on 16 August 2018 at the age 76. Following her tragic passing, the music world mourned her loss and a “lost” documentary was finally released titled Amazing Grace. The film documents the recording of Franklin’s classic 1972 live album by the same name and is slated to hit theatrical release in “early 2019,” Deadline reports.

The film made its premiere at DOC NYC, where Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman praised the film, writing:

“She sounds like the holiest of trumpets, with every note piercingly bright yet as soft as velvet. Listening to Franklin, you feel like you could ride that voice into the heavens. She’s not just a singer, she’s a human chariot.”

Aretha! A Grammy Celebration is the latest in a series of Emmy-winning TV specials presented by the Recording Academy. Previous specials included Sinatra 100 – An All-Star Grammy Concert, Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life – An All-Star Grammy Salute and The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A Grammy Salute.

Explore our Smokey Robinson Artist Page.

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