Smokey Robinson is inspired by everything.

"I like to write about life, what I observe and what happens," he says. Over a career that's spanned six decades, he's lived — and observed — a lot. And the 74-year-old Motown legend still finds joy in performing.

"My favorite part of work is being onstage," he says. "It is a charge I can't get anywhere else."

smokey robinson
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Smokey performing in August 2014.

These days, the artist behind the songs 'The Tears of a Clown,' 'The Tracks of My Tears,' and more has been sharing his hits with a star-studded lineup on the recently released 'Smokey and Friends,' produced by 'American Idol' star Randy Jackson.

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"I am flattered these icons want to work with me," Smokey raves. "They are all great singers and so wonderful to work with."

To read the full story on Smokey, pick up the new issue of ‘Closer Weekly,’ on newsstands now!