2013 Marian Anderson award goes to Motown legend Berry Gordy

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Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that Berry Gordy–the legendary force behind the creation of Motown and many of America’s top pop music stars–will receive the 2013 Marian Anderson Award. In making the announcement, Mayor Nutter noted that, “Few individuals have changed the course of music history as Berry Gordy, who created one of the most influential music genres of all time, managed to break racial barriers, encouraged careers for so many, and entertained millions of people with the Motown Sound, has. I am proud to announce Berry Gordy as the recipient of the 15th Annual Marian Anderson Award and celebrate Motown in Philadelphia.”

In commenting on the announcement, the Award board chair Pamela Browner White expressed how excited the entire board was to be preparing an evening that will celebrate Berry Gordy and some of the most popular music of the last 50 years. “Berry Gordy is a world class mentor, producer, and entrepreneur, and all the stars he launched have become an enormous part of our popular culture. This music recognizes no boundaries. It is beloved by everyone and has been one of this country’s gifts to world culture. And it exists because of Berry Gordy.”

Berry Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise based in Detroit, Michigan, that nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, and many other music greats. The “Motown Sound” reached out across a racially divided, and politically and socially charged country to transform popular music.

Mr. Gordy is also a songwriter, boxer, producer, director, innovative entrepreneur, teacher and visionary. His films include Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues, which garnered five Academy Award nominations.

Browner White continues, “Part of our work is to encourage young men and women to follow their dreams inspired by people like Marian Anderson and Berry Gordy. Miss Anderson would be the first to say that her career was the result of many people helping her along the way. And we at the Award are trying to provide the same crucial assistance and support for young artists through our Young Artist Study-Grant program that was inspired by Miss Anderson and visionaries like Berry Gordy.”