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Motown Mogul Berry Gordy Announces Retirement at 89

Motown Mogul Berry Gordy Announces Retirement at 89

Motown founder Berry Gordy. Courtesy of Motown Museum.
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DETROIT (CelebrityAccess) – Motown Mogul Berry Gordy has announced his retirement at the age of 89, according to The Detroit Free Press.

A Detroit-native, Gordy built Motown Records into a hit-making music, film and television empire. Launching the careers of numerous superstars including Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and the Jackson 5, Motown shattered racial barriers and introduced the world to the sounds of soul, funk and R&B.

Although Gordy sold the record label in 1988, he remained active, developing a musical and staying involved with the Motown Museum’s $50 million expansion campaign.

Announcing his retirement onstage during Motown’s 60th anniversary program at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall over the weekend, Gordy said: “I have come full circle. It is only appropriate [to announce this] while here in Detroit, the city where my fairy tale happened with all of you.”

Gordy’s speech capped the “Hitsville Honors” program, a 3½-hour show that featured performances by Motown veterans (the Temptations, Four Tops, Martha Reeves) as well as artists such as Big Sean, Kem and Ne-Yo.

The evening also included a series of awards, including the Motown Legacy honor presented to Gordy by director-writer Lee Daniels (“Empire”).

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