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Smokey Robinson Reveals Desperate Battle With COVID-19 Nearly Took His Voice, Life

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
He might be known for making miracles, but R&B legend Smokey Robinson isn’t taking his recovery from Covid-19 for granted.

The 81-year-old, who was founder and frontman for famed Motown music group the Miracles before going on to a successful solo career that saw him inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, recently opened up to the Daily Mail about his private battle with the virus last December.

"I am a COVID survivor. I got it severely and I was hospitalized for 11 days, and four or five of those I do not even remember," he told the publication. "It was really touch and go, and a terribly debilitating ailment."

In addition to physically exhausting Robinson, who said the seriousness of his condition didn’t really hit him until it was over, the bout with the virus had the singer fearing the worse for his famous honey-throated, tenor voice.

"'I was not sure that I would ever be able to sing again because it took my voice. I could barely even talk," he said. "Even when I got home, I was hoarse. I could not try to sing because I was afraid. It was one of the most frightening fights I have ever had."

Luckily, Robinson was fully vaccinated and had been taking care of himself. The singer said doctors told him he got off lightly, “They told me that it was lucky for me especially at my age that I'd taken care of myself; but for the grace of God and that fact I probably would not be here talking right now.”

Robinson, who has since performed three full-blown concerts after starting out with short private shows to exercise his vocal cords, estimates he is 95 percent now and will continue to sing for as long as he can. 

"I had to work on my vocal cords and get myself back together. I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life, and it was possible, so I did it," he said. "I love my job… It's what keeps me going."

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