Oscar-winner Denzel, his wife Pauletta (left) and singer Janet Jackson headed the guests cheering funk legend Smokey as he was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in New York
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In his speech the singer, who was one of the founding father of Motown Records, acknowledged his debt to predecessors such as James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald
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Leading showbiz names pay tribute to Motown giant Smokey Robinson

3 JUNE 2008
A legendary Motown figure got the ultimate accolade when Denzel Washington, Janet Jackson and Hustle And Flow actor Terrence Howard led the applause at a gala in his honour. The showbiz luminaries were gathered to fete iconic performer Smokey Robinson's recent induction into the Hall Of Fame at New York's renowned Apollo Theatre.

In the course of his 40-year career the soul godfather has produced scores of hit songs, such as I Second That Emotion and Tears Of A Clown. At Monday's celebrations he cut an elegant figure in a pin-strip suit and powder blue tie as he acknowledged the honour, which places him in illustrious company.

"I have been very fortunate to have known all those people," he said of fellow honourees Gladys Knight, James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald. "They made a wonderful musical and personal contribution."