After his appearance at The White House’s Salute to Berry Gordy and the Legacy of Motown music, legendary singer and songwriter, Smokey Robinson, visits Tavis Smiley on PBS to discuss his latest project, “Now and Then.”
During Tuesday night’s conversation, Robinson shared what he told singer El DeBarge ten years ago, who just recently on the eve of going on tour with artist Kem, checked into rehab for what some are saying is a drug relapse.
Smiley asked what one says to a singer like El who has a gift but is struggling trying to get through. Robinson had this to say:
“I love El. We’re brothers man. I had this conversation with El ten years ago because I myself went through that (drug) trip, you (Smiley) know about it. What I didn’t realize is that this could happen to me. … Drugs do not discriminate because they don’t care who you are or what you’re doing or where you’re going. When you open the door, they’re going to come in. I had this conversation with El.”
“So what I told El and I hope he’s listening. Unless you get your spiritual self together, you are not going to beat this. … If you’re willing to do that, because God is not a dictator, you know give it (the drugs) up — God won’t give it back; unless you go back to get it.”