Smokey Robinson’s Wife: The Heart and Soul Behind the Motown Legend

Smokey Robinson, a Motown legend, is renowned for his classic hits like “My Girl” and “Cruisin’.” Yet, behind his successful career stands a woman who has been his unwavering support—his wife, Frances Robinson (née Gladney). This article delves into the life and love story of Smokey Robinson’s wife, offering insights into their enduring relationship and collaborative ventures.

A Love Story Born from Friendship

Smokey and Frances Robinson’s story began long before they became a couple. In a 2023 interview for Pittsburgh Quarterly, Smokey shared that they met in Los Angeles as part of a group of friends who often celebrated holidays and birthdays together. Despite their 12-year age difference, they discovered they shared the same birthday, February 19.

This unique coincidence brought them closer, particularly after a joint birthday celebration where they both tried coconut shrimp for the first time. Their mutual love for this dish sparked a deeper connection, leading to a blossoming romance. Smokey often jokes, “You do realize that I married you because of coconut shrimp.”

A Private Romance Turned Public

Smokey and Frances secretly dated before tying the knot in May 2002. Frances initially wanted to keep their relationship private, fearing gossip among their friends. However, as their bond grew stronger, they decided to embrace their love openly. Celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary in 2023, Smokey shared a heartfelt tribute to Frances on Instagram, expressing his love and gratitude.

The Muse Behind the Music

Frances has been a significant inspiration for Smokey’s music. Despite his age, Smokey continues to produce music, releasing a new album in 2023. One of the songs, “I Keep Calling,” is a testament to their early secret relationship, with lyrics reflecting their private moments. Smokey describes the song as an ode to love, encouraging listeners to enjoy it with their loved ones.

A Shared Passion for Design

Frances Robinson is not only Smokey’s wife but also a talented interior designer. She played a pivotal role in redesigning their California home. Before their wedding, Smokey spent three years remodeling their five-bedroom house in Encino. Later, they moved to a mansion in Chatsworth,

California, where Frances’s design skills shone. She transformed the seven-bedroom home with unique touches like a crystal and wrought-iron chandelier and cherrywood floors. Her thoughtful designs included a special office for Smokey’s songwriting and a room dedicated to his golf gear.

Entrepreneurial Ventures: Skincare and Wine

Together, Smokey and Frances have ventured into various business projects. In 2016, they launched Skinphonic, a skincare line tailored for people of color. Frances explained that they created the line out of personal need, as existing products didn’t meet their expectations. Skinphonic features “My Girl” products for women and “Get Ready” products for men, reflecting Smokey’s health-conscious lifestyle.

In 2018, the couple expanded their entrepreneurial efforts with Smokey Robinson Wines, based in Frances’s hometown of Pittsburgh. The wines, made in California, are named after Smokey’s famous songs, such as “I Second That Emotion” Cabernet Sauvignon and “My Girl” Chardonnay. This venture allowed Smokey to connect with his fans in a new and creative way.

Celebrating Love and Family

Despite their public personas, Smokey and Frances cherish their private life. They frequently express their love and appreciation for each other on social media. Frances’s heartfelt messages to Smokey on their joint birthday highlight the deep bond they share. She often thanks him for showing her the true meaning of love and being her best friend and confidant.


Smokey Robinson’s illustrious career is well-known, but the woman behind the legend, Frances Robinson, plays an equally vital role in his life. From their early days as friends to their enduring marriage, Frances has been a constant source of support and inspiration. Their collaborative ventures in skincare and wine further exemplify their strong partnership. Together, Smokey and Frances Robinson continue to build a legacy of love, creativity, and shared success.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did Smokey Robinson meet his wife, Frances?
Smokey met Frances in Los Angeles through a mutual group of friends. Their friendship blossomed into a romantic relationship after they bonded over their shared birthday and love for coconut shrimp.

2. When did Smokey Robinson and Frances get married?
Smokey and Frances Robinson tied the knot in May 2002, after secretly dating for a while to avoid gossip among their friends.

3. Has Frances Robinson inspired Smokey’s music?
Yes, Frances has been a significant inspiration for Smokey’s music. His 2023 album features a song, “I Keep Calling,” which reflects their early secret relationship.

4. What business ventures have Smokey and Frances Robinson launched together?
Smokey and Frances have collaborated on several projects, including a skincare line called Skinphonic and a wine brand, Smokey Robinson Wines.

5. How do Smokey and Frances Robinson celebrate their love publicly?
While they keep much of their private life away from the spotlight, Smokey and Frances often share loving messages and tributes to each other on social media, celebrating their deep bond and mutual appreciation.

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