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Smokey Robinson delving into Spanish in upcoming album

Smokey Robinson seems to have conquered English. Time for a new language.

“I’m finishing two albums right now,” Robinson said on the red carpet of the 25th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at Resorts World Las Vegas on Saturday. “One in English, and one in Spanish. I’m just finishing the English one now. I’ll have the Spanish one done in a couple of months.”

Spanish, for a Motown legend? Por qué?

“It’s a beautiful language I’ve been learning for about the past eight years,” said Robinson, one of the night’s honorees. “I love it. A lot of Latin people attend my concerts. So, I’ve been writing some songs in Spanish.”

Robinson came out of a bout with COVID in good shape. Those who hang with him know he can still squeeze the air out of you with a bear hug.

“When you get to be 35, 40 years old, taking care of yourself becomes your ‘other’ job. I learned that a long time ago,” said the 81-year-old Robinson, who splits his time between Las Vegas and L.A. “If you don’t, it all goes down the drain.”

Hosted by Ruvo Clinic co-founders Larry and Camille Ruvo, the event honored Robinson, recording star and studio trailblazer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; and Genting Berhad CEO K.T. Lim, whose company developed Resorts World.

For the first time, the gala was held in a new, tented venue just off the hotel’s south valet entrance. The room is to be permanent and host other events. About 1,200 guests turned out to support the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s fight against such neurocognitive diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple system atrophy and multiple sclerosis. Lim’s long support of the cause was the primary reason the event was held at his resort.

Boyz in the house

Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men, decked out in forceful black, said for the first time that the iconic vocal group is done at Mirage Theater.

“We’re figuring it out. Our contract with The Mirage was done on this year,” Stockman said. “We’ve got some things on the table that we’re trying to address. Everything has to be correct, everything has to be right. But make no mistake, we love Vegas and we want to come back. We love the city, we love The Mirage, it was a great experience for us and we want to continue.”

The band will review options of performing on the same bill with other iconic acts.

“Anything is possible when it comes to creativity, you know?” said Morris, who lives in Las Vegas. “We invite all entertainment facets when it comes to doing stuff. It comes down to new experiences for the audience, and new experiences for us.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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