Robinson Family Meets Sy Smith
Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, the Robinson Family had the pleasure of meeting the “Queen of Underground Soul” Sy Smith, and presented her with an InSight Mars Lander boarding pass. Sy Smith is a critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated singer-songwriter with a musical catalog of five albums. She is also the granddaughter of the late Ida Van Smith, who founded a series of flight clubs nationally for minority youth.
Robinson Family Aerospace Mission Co-founder, Willie Robinson, first became a fan of Sy Smith and her artistry through her paternal grandmother, Ida Van Smith. While preparing for an aviation program, Mr. Robinson wanted to highlight the achievements of Ida Van Smith and shortly, discovered her granddaughter. Upon hearing the soulful stylings of Sy Smith, the Robinson Family became instant fans and admirers of her music.
Deeply moved by her music and the accomplishments of her grandmother, the Robinson Family sought to honor Sy Smith and Ida Van Smith. In 2008, the Robinson Family had the opportunity to honor Ida Van Smith by sending her name towards the stars via NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Similarly, in 2018, the Robinson Family honored Sy Smith with the launch of the InSight Mars Lander by sending her name aboard the mission. Willie, Adriana and Victoria Robinson believed that the contributions made by Ida Van Smith and Sy Smith deserved a commemoration amongst the stars.
On Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, the Robinson Family had the opportunity to finally meet Sy Smith and share with her that her name and Ida Van Smith’s name are officially sailing amongst the stars.
Promoting her newly released album SOMETIMES A ROSE WILL GROW IN CONCRETE, Smith performed crowd favorites, songs from her new album as well as made a tribute to the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. During a brief intermission, the Robinson Family was given the opportunity to honor Sy Smith as well as recognize the achievements of her grandmother by presenting her with an InSight and LRO certificate.
During the presentation, Victoria Robinson stated that Smith is: “a phenomenal voice of our time. [Her] critically acclaimed and multifaceted artistry has made an inerasable mark in the world of underground soul music. Duly named the “Queen of Underground Soul,” [she has] helped in shaping an expressive and impactful genre of music. [Her] awe-inspiring talent has garnered an incredible musical catalog which includes 5 widely acclaimed studio albums. Not only [is she] celebrated in the realm of underground soul, but [she is] also celebrated amongst the stars.”