Songwriters Hall of Fame to Honor Motown's Berry Gordy

By Adam Hetrick
March 12, 2013

Music mogul Berry Gordy, whose life story is currently dramatized in the Broadway musical Motown, will be presented with the Songwriters Hall of Fame's Pioneer Award June 13 in New York City.



The annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. The honor was established in 2012 to recognize "the career of a historic creator of an extensive body of musical work that has been a major influence on generations of songwriters."

Gordy, who pioneered Motown Records, is the first living individual to receive the honor. It was presented posthumously to Woody Guthrie in 2012.

"Berry Gordy is an innovator and a visionary. Yes, he created a label but more than that, he created a genre," said Songwriters Hall of Fame chairman Jimmy Webb in a statement. "Think about it, he pioneered a marketplace for African American artistry and then he invited the world in to enjoy it. Berry was way ahead of his time; his young and immaculately groomed and dressed artists were among the first to receive media training. Berry Gordy and the Motown sound are essential to the American music story."

Gordy also penned the book to Motown, which is studded with songs made famous by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. It officially opens April 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright.

Gordy is producing the musical along with Tony winner Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q) and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris. Read the March 2013 Playbill magazine feature about the show.

Visit MotownTheMusical.com.

View Motown in rehearsal: