William “Smokey” Robinson encouraged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which he said left him hospitalized for 11 days.
Robinson, 81, who founded the Motown vocal group The Miracles in 1955, told ET during a recent interview about his harrowing encounter with the virus, which he said left him worried if he would ever sing again.
Regarding the time he spent in the hospital, Robinson said he doesn’t remember “four or five of those days.”
“I am very happy to share [my story] because I hope it helps someone,” Robinson said. “COVID just comes on and the people ask me today, who knew that I had it… where did you get it, how did you get it? I don’t know. I have no idea how I got it. All I know is I looked up and I had it.”
AJ McLean, Smokey Robinson, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Charlie Wilson perform onstage during the 25th annual Keep Memory Alive ‘Power of Love Gala’ benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Resorts World Las Vegas on October 16, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)
“It was a horrible horrible thing and while I was going through it I wasn’t really thinking about ‘Hey man, perhaps you will never get out of this hospital alive,’” Robinson continued. “I wasn’t thinking like that. I was just thinking about [how] I got to get myself together.”
In this image released on November 29, Smokey Robinson attends the 2020 Soul Train Awards presented by BET. (Photo by Leon Bennett/STA 2020)
Robinson also urged his listeners about the importance of maintaining protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Charlie Wilson, Anthony Anderson and Smokey Robinson attend the 25th annual Keep Memory Alive ‘Power of Love Gala’ benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Resorts World Las Vegas on October 16, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)
“Protect yourself and those that you love because it is a real killer and it’s a horrible thing to have to go through,” he continued. “Some people go through it mildly but you are talking to someone who went through it severely. So when you go through it like that it’s a really rough health thing to overcome… [if it weren’t] for the grace of God, I wouldn’t be here talking to you guys and I’m sure of that.”