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Smokey Robinson reveals he “could’ve died” after “frightening” bout with COVID-19

The 81-year-old singer says he wasn’t sure he “would ever be able to sing again.”

Smokey Robinson Getty Images

Smokey Robinson fortunately survived a nearly-fatal bout with COVID-19 last year, an experience he deemed “one of the most frightening fights” of his life. According to the 81-year-old Motown singer, he contracted the virus in December and was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, where he remained for several days.

“I am a COVID[-19] survivor,” he revealed in an interview with “I got it severely, and I was hospitalized for 11 days, and four or five of those, I do not even remember. It really was touch and go and a terribly debilitating ailment. I was not sure that I would ever be able to sing again because it took my voice. I could barely even talk.”

“The Tears of a Clown” singer claims the virus also caused him to experience extreme fatigue. “Fortunately, I never had to use the ventilator. I never lost my taste or smell, but it wiped me out,” he said. “I lost all my energy and could not walk from the bed to the bathroom without being exhausted.”

Despite going through the actual experience, Robinson says he didn’t notice the gravity of his situation until after he successfully overcame the illness.

“It sounds weird, I know, but the severity of my condition didn’t hit me until it was over,” said the “Cruisin’ vocalist. “None of this really scared me until after I came home. When I was there trying to get well while weak I never thought about dying. I was thinking I am going to get well. I looked back and knew that I could’ve died because it was that severe. Then it scared me.”

With hopes to prevent himself from contracting COVID-19 again, Robinson has taken the vaccine and has been exercising every day. As for the status of his singing career, the crooner, who says he is now 95% better, worked on his vocal cords and is gradually returning to his normal workload.

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