Smokey Robinson Recruits Mary J. Blige for ‘Being Without You’: Listen

By Marissa G. Muller

R&B legend Smokey Robinson is gearing up to release his new album Smokey & Friends, which consists of the singer’s classics re-recorded with contemporary artists, and now he’s shared the second taste.

“Being With You,” a new take on Robinson’s 1981 No. 2 hit featuring Mary J. Blige, follows up the version of “Quiet Storm” the singer shared last week with John Legend. The revamped love-can-conquer-all-ballad finds the pair trading verses atop twinkling piano chords. Aside from the glossier production and Blige’s smooth vocals, there’s not much of a difference between the new rendition and its original.

Related: Listen to ‘Quiet Storm,’ Smokey Robinson’s Duet with John Legend

Smokey & Friends also features contributions from Elton John, Steven Tyler, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Cee Lo Green, Miguel, Aloe Blacc and Jessie J, who tweeted last summer that she had recorded songs with both Robinson and Blige.

Earlier in the month, Robinson and Jessie J took the stage together at Edinburgh Castle to perform “Cruisin’,” a recorded version of which appears on the album.

Pre-order Smokey & Friends over at iTunes, ahead its Aug. 19 release.


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