Grammys: Stevie Wonder joins forces with Smokey Robinson for stunning Motown tribute

6 February 2023, 11:26

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By Mayer Nissim

Smokey Robinson caps off an incredible few days with a very special performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

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Smokey Robinson was already due to have a very special weekend, having been honoured alongside Motown founder Berry Gordy at the MusiCares Persons of the Year benefit gala concert on Friday (February 3).

Fresh from playing at that concert, Stevie Wonder popped up at the Grammy Awards on Sunday (February 5) to join forces with Smokey for an all-star performance at the ceremony.

Stevie was first introduced by Billy Crystal and played a cover of The Temptations 'The Way You Do the Things You Do', which was written by Smokey with Robert Rogers.

Smokey joined Stevie, who was being backed by R&B group WanMor, for a rendition of 'Tears of A Clown', which he had co-written with Wonder and Hank Cosby way back in 1967.

For the final number, country player Chris Stapleton teamed up with Wonder for a run through Stevie's 1973 chart-topping funk classic 'Higher Ground'.

Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards
Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards. Picture: Getty Images

At the concert a couple of days earlier, Robinson and Gordy had been honoured not just by Wonder, but also an all-star cast of performers including the current touring versions of The Temptations and The Four Tops.

Also performing at the show were the likes of John Legend, The Isley Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Dionne Warwick, Sheryl Crow and others.


“In my life I’ve been blessed enough to get a few awards,” Robinson said before his own performance at the show.

"But this one is really the most special to me because I’m getting this award with my very best friend in the world.

"I’m standing here tonight because when I first met this man, it was the beginning of my dream come true."

Chris Stapleton jamming with Stevie Wonder
Chris Stapleton jamming with Stevie Wonder. Picture: Getty Images

He added: "I wanted to be a singer, to be in show business, write songs and make music. I never thought it would be possible for me from where I grew up.

"But he took me under his wing … I love you man; you are so precious."

Despite these honours for his lifetime in music, Smokey is far from retirement, having recently announced GASMS – his first studio album in a decade.