Motown star Smokey Robinson receives award, nods to Detroit

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson preforms onstage at the 29th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria on September 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)

DETROIT (AP) — Motown star Smokey Robinson has reflected on his humble Detroit roots while accepting a prestigious lifetime contributions award in Washington, D.C.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Robinson received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song amid multiple standing ovations from an audience filled with political dignitaries at DAR Constitution Hall.

Robinson said he had been raised in a north end Detroit home where the music of George and Ira Gershwin played alongside “gutbucket blues,” and that he had dreamed of being in show business since childhood.

A band led by Detroit native Greg Phillinganes steered the evening’s performances.

The Gershwin Prize, awarded by the Library of Congress each year, has become one of the leading honors recognizing popular-music songwriting.

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