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Smokey Robinson brings soulful flair to new children’s series

The 76-year-old icon will be executive music producer of Netflix’s animated show for kids

Singer and songwriting legend Smokey Robinson is using his musical talents and superstar Motown background to reach out to a much younger audience.

On July 27, Netflix announced that Robinson will be the executive music producer of an original animated series for children. The collaboration between production companies Grace and Beyond International introduces viewers to the life and adventures of a shy 8-year-old boy named Ben who lives in Motown, an imaginary city inspired by the rich musical culture and history of Detroit.

The untitled series, created by producer/director Josh Wakely, will incorporate 52 classics from the Jobete Music Co. catalog that will be covered by contemporary artists. Songs made famous by musical icons such as Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder will be heard in each episode.

Robinson, 76, expressed his excitement and said these songs will be introduced to a new generation of fans and families.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful new series that will embrace the magic of Motown and present our songs to a whole new generation of fans and their entire families,” Robinson told Netflix. “I’m so impressed with Josh’s creative vision for the series and can’t wait to play my part in bringing it to the world.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.