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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, said ET spoke about his painful encounter with the virus during a recent interview, which he said would worry him if he ever sings 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 this helps someone,” Robinson said. “COVID just comes and people ask me today, who knew I had it… where did you get it, how did you get it? I do not know. I don’t know how I got it. All I know is that I looked up and I had.”

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“It was an awfully horrible thing and when I was going through it I wasn’t really thinking about ‘Hey man, maybe you’ll never get out of this hospital alive,'” Robinson continued. “I wasn’t thinking so. I was just thinking about [how] I have to reconcile myself.”

In this image released on November 29, Smokey Robinson attends the 2020 Soul Train Awards presented by BET.

Robinson also urged his listeners about the importance of maintaining protocols to reduce 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 on October 16, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada .  (Photo by Dennis Trusello/Getty Images for Keeping Memory Alive)

“Protect yourself and the people you love because this is a real killer and a terrible thing to go through,” he continued. “Some people go through it lightly but you are talking to someone who has suffered severely. So when you go through it it is a really tough health thing to overcome.. . [if it weren’t] For God’s grace, I am not here talking to you guys and I have full faith in it.”