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Smokey Robinson talks ‘GASMS,’ longevity, retirement & more

TLR Music Group/ ADA Worldwide

Smokey Robinson’s new album, GASMS, drops April 28, and while you may think the title is a bit risqué, Smokey says it doesn’t necessarily mean what you think.

“All the songs on the album have a connotation to them. Most people, when you say ‘gasms,’ they think about orgasms,” Smokey tells Rolling Stone. “But ‘gasms’ is any good feeling that you get. It’s probably a controversial title, but I wanted it to be that way.”

The 83-year-old Smokey has had a long and lasting career, but he’s seen a lot of the artists he started out with pass away. He believes the reason he’s still here is because he’s “blessed,” sharing, “For me to be my age that I am right now, and feel like I’m 40, I can’t beat that, man.”

As for the secret to his longevity, Smokey does yoga, works out regularly and eats well. But even with all that he notes, “There’s nothing you can do, man. When it’s your time, it’s your time. If there was a secret to longevity, man, you can believe somebody would’ve bottled or boxed it by now and made a fortune.” 

And Smokey still has a lot of things left to do in his career, including a biopic that he says he’s “in the process of doing” right now.

And it certainly sounds like he doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. Asked if he thinks he’ll ever retire, he says “not anymore, man,” explaining he tried to do it when he became the vice president of Motown, but he was “just miserable.” He insists, “I will never try retirement again.”

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