Even Smokey Robinson learns something new every day.
The 80-year-old Motown legend was recently commissioned to send a holiday message to a former neighbor and mispronounced the word “Chanukah” in doing so.
“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 via video sharing site Cameo by an individual named Jeff and his brother to send a Hanukkah message to their mother, Margo, who grew up across the street from Robinson.
Jeff shared the video to Twitter on Sunday, which, he said: “takes a strange twist.”
“Hey Margo, how you doing? Surprise, surprise,” said Robinson. “This is Smokey Robinson. I know you didn’t expect to hear from me, but I was contacted by your sons … they told me that you used to live in Detroit across the street from me, and gosh, that’s beautiful.”
Robinson said that Margo is now living in Vancouver.
He continued: “[Your sons] wanted me to wish you ‘Happy Chanukah.'”
Rather than pronouncing the word correctly, the singer mistakenly said “chuh-noo-kuh.”
The mistake kept rolling, however, as Robinson continued, mispronouncing the word each time.
“I have no idea what Chanukah is, but Happy Chanukah because they said so,” he said in the clip. “Anyway, God bless you, babe, and enjoy Chanukah. Have a wonderful time.”
Despite the tweet quickly going viral, Jeff seemed unfazed.
“By the way, @smokeyrobinson can pronounce it any way he damn well pleases. He is a true legend whose music has been with me since birth,” he commented on his original post. “His kindness and generosity of spirit has already made this most-unusual 2020 Chanukah one of my family’s most memorable. Also, my mom says hi.”
Not long after, Robinson realized his mistake and commented on the video.
“In the spirit of 2020, I’m gonna need a do-over!” he wrote. “Please DM me your mother’s phone number so we can try this again.”
The singer followed through per another video shared by Jeff featuring his mother chatting with the legend on the phone.
“Update – a Chanukah miracle- @smokeyrobinson called my mother while she was at school (she teaches Kindergarten) and it seems like they might be best friends now?” he captioned the video, in part.