The Miracles (also known as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles from 1965 to 1972) were an American rhythm and blues vocal group that was the first successful recording act for Berry Gordy's Motown Records, and one of the most important and influential groups in pop, rock and roll, and R&B music history. Formed in 1955 by Smokey Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, and Ronnie White, the group started off as the Five Chimes, changing their name to the Matadors two years later. The group then settled on the Miracles after the inclusion of Claudette Robinson in 1958. The most notable Miracles line-up included the Robinsons, Moore, White, Bobby Rogers and Marv Tarplin. After a failed audition with Brunswick Records, the group began working with songwriter Berry Gordy, who helped to produce their first records for the End and Chess labels before establishing Tamla Records in 1959 and signing the Miracles as its first act. The group eventually scored the label's first million-selling hit record with the 1960 Grammy Hall of Fame smash, "Shop Around", and further established themselves as one of Motown's top acts with the hit singles "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "What's So Good About Goodbye", "Way Over There", "I'll Try Something New", "Mickey's Monkey", "Going to a Go-Go", "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need", "Just A Mirage", "If You Can Want", "More Love", "I Don't Blame You at All", "Ooo Baby Baby", the multi-award-winning "The Tracks of My Tears", "Special Occasion", "I Second That Emotion", "Baby Baby Don't Cry", the number-one Pop smashes "The Tears of a Clown" and "Love Machine", "Do It Baby", and "My Girl Has Gone".
Referred to as Motown's "soul supergroup", the Miracles recorded 26 Top 40 Pop hits, sixteen of which reached the Billboard Top 20, seven top 10 singles, and a number one single ("The Tears of a Clown") while the Robinsons and Tarplin were members. Following the departure of Tarplin and the Robinsons, the rest of the group continued with singer Billy Griffin and scored two final top 20 singles, "Do It Baby" and "Love Machine", a second # 1 hit, which topped the charts before the group departed for Columbia Records in 1977, recording as a quintet with Billy's brother Donald Griffin replacing Marv Tarplin, where after a few releases, they disbanded in 1978. In all, the group had over fifty charted hits by the time they disbanded. On the R&B charts, the Miracles scored 26 Top 10 Billboard R&B hits, with 4 R&B # 1's, and 11 U.S. R&B Top 10 Albums, including 2-#1's . Bobby Rogers and Ronald White revived the group as a touring ensemble sporadically during the 1980s and again in the 1990s with lead singer Sydney Justin. Following White's death in 1995, Rogers continued to tour with different members until he was forced into retirement due to health issues in 2011, dying less than two years later.
The Miracles have been awarded many top music industry honors over the years. In 1997, the group received the Pioneer Award at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation for their musical achievements. Four years later, in 2001, they were inducted to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2004, they were ranked thirty-two on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, retaining that same position seven years later, in 2011. Four of their hit songs were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2009, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Throughout their careers, the Miracles were also enshrined with honors for their songwriting by both BMI and ASCAP. In 2008, Billboard listed them at #61 on their 100 most successful Billboard artists ever list. After much controversy, the Miracles were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.