The Miracles were an American rhythm and blues group that was the first successful recording act for Berry Gordy’s Motown, and one of the most important and influential groups in pop, rock and roll, and R&B music history.
The most notable Miracles line-up included the Robinsons, Moore, White, Bobby Rogers and Marv Tarplin. Referred to as Motown’s “soul supergroup”, the Miracles recorded 26 Top 40 hits, seven of which were 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, a second # 1 hit, which topped the charts before the group departed for Columbia Records in 1977, recording as a quintet with Donald Griffin, 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. 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 and Justin 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. 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. Throughout their careers, the Miracles were also enshrined with honors for their songwriting by both BMI and ASCAP. After much controversy, the Miracles were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
The Tears of a Clown