Smokey Robinson won't retire

Smokey Robinson won't retire credit:Bang Showbiz
Smokey Robinson won't retire credit:Bang Showbiz

Smokey Robinson has insisted retirement "didn't work" for him.

The 84-year-old music legend took a year out from his performing career in 1972 to focus on his family life and executive role at Motown but admitted that was more than enough for him because he is so passionate about music and nothing gives him the same buzz he gets from being on stage.

He told People magazine: "I tried retiring one time and it didn't work for me, man.

"I'm living my impossible childhood dream. I'm doing what I love, and it's a blessing...

"[The thrill I get] is the fact that I'm still doing it…I try retiring and nothing matches it for me. Nothing gives me that same thing as being on stage and being with people and having a good time."

The 'Tracks of my Tears' feels lucky to have grown up surrounded by music.

He said: "I love music, and I always have, before I even knew that I was ever going to have a career. Fortunately for me, I grew up in a home where there was always music. I grew up in a music home.

"I had two older sisters and my mom, and they were always playing music — blues, gospel, jazz, classical, everything. I grew up with a great dose of music, and I've always loved music. Music is very, very, very essential through my life and in my life. So yeah, man, I'm a music lover!"

Smokey believes always knowing his limits and not partying too hard has contributed to his longevity.

He said: "When you're in show business, people think that that's all you do: you're in show business and your party and that's it, and that's your whole life is partying.

"Invariably, somebody would come backstage when I was doing it after the shows and say, ‘OK, Smokey, now where's the party?’ I would tell them, ‘I just had the party! I just had the party for two hours.

"That was a party to me. I was having a great time, so I just had the party. Now, I'm going back to my hotel room and watch some TV and fall asleep.'"