In this study, a robust backstepping approach for the control problem of the variable-speed wind turbine with a permanent magnet synchronous generator is presented. Specifically, to overcome the negative effects of parametric uncertainties in both mechanical and electrical subsystems, a robust controller with a differentiable compensation term is proposed. The proposed methodology ensures the generator velocity tracking error to uniformly approach a small bound where practical tracking is achieved. Stability of the overall system is ensured by Lyapunov-based arguments. Comparative simulation studies with a standard proportional-integral-type controller are performed to illustrate the effectiveness, feasibility and efficiency of the proposed controller.