Berry Gordy
(1929-present)

Aged 92

Berry Gordy III (known professionally as Berry Gordy Jr., born November 28, 1929) is an American record executive, record producer, songwriter, film producer and television producer. He is best known as the founder of the Motown record label and its subsidiaries, which was the highest-earning African-American business for decades. As a songwriter, he composed or co-composed a number of hits including "Lonely Teardrops", "Shop Around" and "Do You Love Me", all of which topped the US R&B charts, as well as the international hit Reet Petite. As part of The Corporation he wrote a number of hit songs for The Jackson 5, including "I Want You Back" and "ABC". As a record producer, he launched the Miracles and signed acts like the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips and Stevie Wonder. He was known for carefully controlling the public image, dress, manners, and choreography of his acts. In 1988, Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Motown the "Motown Sound" was created on this site from 1959 to 1972. The company was started with an $800 loan from the savings club of the Bertha and Berry Gordy, Sr., family. Originally called Tamla Records, the company's first national release was "Money (That's What I Want)," in August 1959. The founder, choosing a name that reflected the Motor City, coined the word "Motown" for the company that was incorporated as the Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. That same year it produced its first gold record, "Shop Around". In 1968 the company, which had grown from a family-oriented business to an international enterprise, moved it business operations to 2457 Woodward. Motown provided an opportunity for Detroit's inner-city youth to reach their full potential and become super stars.

Hitsville U.S.A., 2648 West Grand Boulevard, MI 48208, Detroit, MI, United States where they founded Motown Records (1959)