Elton John spoke to Billboard to discuss recording a duet with Smokey Robinson for an upcoming album.
As a teenager collecting soul records, John recalls he was awed by Robinson's "most amazing voice" and lyrics that were "so great and direct; so simple and heartfelt. I think Bob Dylan described him as America's greatest poet. [Robinson] says things in five words that people take a whole page to say."
Smokey Robinson is partnering with an all-star slate of guests -- including Elton John and James Taylor -- for "Smokey & Friends." Verve Records will release the duets album this September.