Ronnie White

April 5, 1939 – August 26, 1995

As a founding member of the first successful group at Motown Records, Ronald “Ronnie” White’s place in American music history was solidified early on, even if he didn’t always get the recognition. In 1955, White – along with childhood friend, William “Smokey” Robinson – formed the vocal group that would eventually become the Miracles. When Berry Gordy was founding Tamla records in Detroit, the Miracles auditioned for him having found little interest from other labels. Gordy signed the group to the label that became Motown. The Miracles had their first hit with 1960’s “Shop Around.”

Ronnie White helped Robinson write a number of the group’s songs as well as songs for other Motown acts. The Miracles had more than 20 hits for Motown throughout the 1960s and by the end of the decade, Smokey Robinson had moved on as a solo artist. White and fellow groupmate, Bobby Rogers kept the Miracles going with a new line up, scoring a number 1 disco hit, “Love Machine,” in 1975.  White and Rogers would carry on the Miracles off and on until 1993. When Smokey Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 without the rest of the group, it caused some controversy and certainly some hurt feelings, but ultimately, Ronnie White and the rest of the Miracles were inducted in 2012. Unfortunately, White’s HOF recognition was posthumous. He died 17 years prior to his induction after a battle with leukemia. He was 56.

Burial

Woodlawn Cemetery – Detroit, MI

Specific Location

Section 5, Faith Chapel – On the southern side of the outside of this mausoleum, Ronnie is interred right in the middle of the wall.

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