"It's just amazing to me that they honor you for something that you absolutely love. I'm blessed. I'm living the life that I love, and people honor me for that. That can't be beat," said Robinson.
The event at the Beverly Hilton featured a performance by Carrie Underwood. Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole were also slated to take to the stage inside.
The Ella Award is named after jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald. Past honorees include Elton John, Celine Dion and Tony Bennett.