Soul veteran Smokey Robinson is so impressed with British singer JOSS STONE's talents, he now dubs her "ARETHA JOPLIN".

Stone, 17, teamed up with Robinson to perform I SECOND THAT EMOTION at record label Motown's 45th anniversary concert earlier this year (04), and Robinson has since declared that the teen is a perfect blend of Aretha Franklin and JANIS JOPLIN.

He says, "She has a wonderful voice... I call her Aretha Joplin. She's got that power and she's so soulful. I think she must have been here before."

And Stone admits she's flattered by the compliment - especially because she was so nervous about singing alongside Robinson.

She explains, "Singing in front of anybody is scary, but when they told me I was going to sing with Smokey Robinson, I was like, 'Oh my God.' It kind of freaked me out. I grew up listening to his music, so to have it come back full circle is mad."

01/11/2004 10:49