Smokey Robinson

by Sage on March 18, 2016

BET Honors 2014 - Arrivals

Birth Name: William Robinson, Jr.

Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 19, 1940

Ethnicity: African-American, evidently 1/8th French

Smokey Robinson is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former record executive.

Smokey is the son of Flossie (Smith) and William Robinson, Sr. A maternal great-grandmother of his was said to have been of French descent.

A picture of young Smokey with his parents can be seen here.

Smokey’s paternal grandparents were Albert Robinson and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lanxter. Albert and Elizabeth were born in Alabmaa.

Smokey’s maternal grandparents were The Rev. Benjamin J. Smith and Ella Mae Rivers Warr (the daughter of Adam Warr and Sarah Mike). The Rev. Benjamin and Ella were born in Tennessee. Adam was the son of Harriet Warr.

Sources: Genealogy of Smokey Robinson –

Genealogy of Smokey Robinson (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Obituary of Smokey’s mother –

Photo by Prphotos

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Multiethnicchick March 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Get him a DNA test, then we’ll see this just 1/8 white stuff, please. His features(hair, eyes, face) indicate a large amount of white ancestry.

andrew February 17, 2018 at 7:12 am
madman April 12, 2017 at 7:21 am

Is that article’s statement really credible? How common was it back then for interracial children to have a white mother?

follers April 12, 2017 at 7:24 am

Very rare.

I didn’t even notice that article was there. Robinson was on Who Do You Think You Are?, and it seems clear neither of his maternal great-grandmothers were white nor French. Nor sure about his father’s side.

madman February 20, 2018 at 2:26 am

Should French be removed then?

fuzzybear44 March 19, 2016 at 1:04 am

Yes that happens a lot, where the child is lighter than both parents

Sage March 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm

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