Berry Gordy begin his career as a songwriter penning “Lonely Teardrops,” and “To Be Loved,” for R&B star Jacki Wilson. Fed up with his lack of compensation for his work, Gordy set out on his own the create a record label. On January 12, 1959, he started Tamla Records, with an $800 loan from his family and royalties earned writing for Jackie Wilson. As they say, the rest is history.
Officially incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960, the fledgling record company would be defined by the moniker “The Sound of Young America.” It was Gordy’s mission to create music and develop artists that would have crossover success. The music of Motown played a significant role in race relations in America. Legendary artists such as the Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes, Smokey Robinson, and the Miracles, the Temptations, the Jackson 5, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
Later on, the roster would include The Commodores, Rick James, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie, and Boyz II Men
Motown would eventually expand to film. Lady Sings the Blues (1972), and Mahogany (1975). Other Motown films would include Scott Joplin (1977), Thank God It’s Friday (1978), The Wiz (1978) and The Last Dragon (1985) were all produced by Motown. 60 years later, Motown is still one of the most iconic names in music.
In honor of the 60th anniversary of Motown, the Grammys’ salute pays tribute to work of Berry Gordy and all those contributed to the success of Motown. Motown Records’ 60th anniversary has officially released its star-studded performance lineup, featuring Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Boyz II Men, Chloe x Halle, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Ne-Yo and more. The Recording Academy posted the news Twitter.
We’re celebrating the historic American record label @Motown by presenting “Motown 60: A GRAMMY Celebration.” With performances from @StevieWonder, @DianaRoss, @BoyzIIMen, @chloexhalle, @torikelly, @johnlegend, @NeYoCompound, and more.https://t.co/zGweEARnH4
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 7, 2019
The event will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, two days after the Grammy awards, although an air date has yet to be announced.