Kris Connor/Getty ImagesSmokey Robinson has been chosen the 2016 “Rocker of the Year” by Little Kids Rock.

Robinson will receive the award October 5 at the non-profit organization’s benefit dinner held in New York City. Since 2002, Little Kids Rock has provided free instruments and music education for more than 400,000 children across the America.

The Motown veteran tells Billboard, “Music is a gift and I believe that every child should have access to it.” He adds, “I’m honored to be able to join Little Kids Rock in furthering its mission.”

David Wish, CEO and founder of Little Kids Rock, is thrilled to pay tribute to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. “We are so excited about the prospect of honoring such an iconic songwriter and musician,” he says. “It is our mission to help kids unlock their inner music makers and there are few, if any, in the music industry who can inspire this more than Smokey Robinson.”

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