Artistic Breakthroughs: Smokey Robinson (NAMM Show 2014)

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<p><span>Surprise guest Smokey Robinson joins NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond </span>during&nbsp;Breakfast of Champions&nbsp;at the 2014 NAMM Show.&nbsp;What follows is an<span> up-close discussion about Robinson&rsquo;s early musical life, the importance of music in the schools and why he still performs live. Robinson, a legendary singer, songwriter and producer, also received the music products industry&rsquo;s highest honor, the Music for Life Award.</span><br /> <br /> <span>Highlights from the video:</span><br /> <br /> <span>&ldquo;I grew up in Detroit,&rdquo; Robinson said. &ldquo;And I grew up in the hood. I grew up where it was hard-core. For me to be sitting here today with you and talking like this&mdash;and you&rsquo;re giving me this wonderful award&mdash;and to be talking about my music and stuff like that is just an incredible, wild, unbelievable dream come true for me.</span><br /> <br /> <span>&ldquo;Out of all the work that I do&mdash;as far as earning my living, doing my work, being in the studio and writing&mdash;performing is my favorite part. That&rsquo;s why I still do this because no where else do I get that energy, do I get that feeling of going to see the fans. They think they&rsquo;re coming to see me, but I&rsquo;m coming to see them.</span><br /> <br /> <span>&ldquo;I feel really badly about the fact that they cut the arts programs [in schools] because the arts programs are voluntary. When the kids are in the arts programs, whatever they&rsquo;re pursuing&mdash;dancing, acting, music, whatever it is in the arts programs&mdash;it&rsquo;s voluntary on their part. Nobody comes to them and says, &lsquo;OK, you have to go to this class, and you&rsquo;re going to be graded in this class.&rsquo; That&rsquo;s voluntary. So it gives them a connection to school ...&nbsp;</span><span>Those programs are so very, very, very important to our young people. Give up something else. Really. They&rsquo;re so important. And they&rsquo;re important to the world because we&rsquo;re going to need those people to bring joy.&rdquo;</span></p>