For his latest project, Motown legend Smokey Robinson enlisted the help of his famous friends for the ultimate duets record that re-imagines some of his greatest hits.
On Smokey & Friends, the R&B star teamed up with the likes of Elton John, James Taylor, Steven Tyler plus many more contemporary and classic artists on his most beloved hits spanning his solo career, his catalog with The Miracles, as well as hits he wrote for others, including Marvin Gaye and The Temptations.
The first peek at the album was revealed Monday exclusively on USA Today featuring a duet with R&B superstar John Legend on the jazzy slow-jam “Quiet Storm.”
Beginning the tune with a short intro over soft piano, Legend gushes, “Bob Dylan called Smokey Robinson one of the greatest poets of our time. Smokey, it’s an honor to sing this with you.” Legend then takes the lead on the first verse of the song and is later joined by Smokey in the second verse with a lively duet on the chorus.
Apparently the duo’s collaboration was years in the making after Smokey heard Legend cover “Quiet Storm” in concert and suggested he record it.
“We just laughed about it, and here we are recording together,” Robinson told USA Today. “He’s a wonderful young artist and a great songwriter. For him to like one of my songs like that is a very flattering thing.”
Smokey & Friends is scheduled for release on Aug. 19th and has a handful of upcoming tour dates in support of the album. Will any of Smokey’s ‘friends’ make an appearance at his upcoming concert at LA’s Greek Theatre on Aug. 16th? We’ll just have to wait and find out!
Until then, get a sneak peek at his new duets album with the first track featuring R&B star John Legend on “Quiet Storm.”
Smokey & Friends full track listing via USA Today:
The Tracks of My Tears, Elton John
You Really Got a Hold on Me, Steven Tyler
My Girl, Miguel, Aloe Blacc & JC Chasez
Cruisin’, Jesse J
Quiet Storm, John Legend
The Way You Do (The Things You Do), CeeLo Green
Being With You, Mary J. Blige
Ain’t That Peculiar, James Taylor
The Tears of a Clown, Sheryl Crow
Ooh Baby Baby, Ledisi
Get Ready, Gary Barlow