Even Smokey Robinson learns something new every day.
The 80-year-old Motown legend was recently ordered to send a holiday message to a former neighbor, mispronouncing the word ‘Hanukkah’.
“Chanukah” is a more traditional spelling of the holiday Hanukkah. The two words are pronounced the same.
The “Tracks of My Tears” singer was commissioned through the video sharing site Cameo from a person named Jeff and his brother to send a Hanukkah message to their mother, Margo, who grew up across the street from Robinson.
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Jeff shared the video on Twitter Sunday, saying: “takes a strange turn. “
“Hey Margo, how are you? Surprise, surprise,” said Robinson. This is Smokey Robinson. I know you weren’t expecting to hear from me, but I was approached by your sons … they told me you used to live across the street in Detroit, and gosh, that’s beautiful. “
Robinson said Margo now lives in Vancouver.
He went on: “[Your sons] wanted me to wish you ‘Happy Chanukah’. ”
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Instead of pronouncing the word correctly, the singer incorrectly said ‘chuh-noo-kuh’.
However, the error kept rolling as Robinson went on and mispronounced the word every time.
“I have no idea what Chanukah is, but Happy Chanukah because they said it,” he said in the clip. “Anyway, God bless you, honey, and enjoy Hanukkah. Lots of fun.’
Despite the tweet quickly going viral, Jeff seemed unfazed.
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By the way, @smokeyrobinson can pronounce it the way he does it damn well. He’s a true legend whose music has been with me since I was born, ” he responded to his original message. “His kindness and generosity of mind have already made this most unusual Hanukkah 2020 one of the most memorable in my family. In addition, my mother is saying goodbye.”
Not long after, Robinson realized his mistake and commented on the video.
“In the spirit of 2020, I need a new look!” He wrote. “Please send me your mom’s phone number so we can try again.”
The singer followed up on another video shared by Jeff, in which his mother was talking to the legend on the phone.
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“Update – a Hanukkah miracle- @smokeyrobinson called my mom while she was in school (she teaches kindergarten) and it looks like they might be best friends now?” he partially captioned the video.