Berry Gordy, Jr.

The founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy did what many people of his time believed could never be done: he brought Black music into millions of White Americans' homes, helping both Black artists and their culture gain acceptance, and opening the door for a multitude of successful Black record executives and producers. Though the music of Motown was not as raw or edgy as other R&B labels, such as Chess and Stax, the songs that were written, produced, and released from "Hitsville USA" comprise some of the most enduring, sophisticated, and popular music of our time. Influential artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Smokey Robinson were all discovered and their talents fostered by Berry Gordy. Motown groups like the Four Tops, the Supremes, and the Temptations are regarded as some of the best vocal groups ever to record. Even now, years after Gordy sold the company, the reputation of excellence he forged at Motown continues to stay with the famous label.

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