Motown founder Berry Gordy to receive Marian Anderson Award

Motown record label founder Berry Gordy will be the recipient of this year’s Marian Anderson Award, Mayor Nutter announced Monday.

Gordy, 83, helped launch the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and many others. The success of his Detroit-based record label is credited as a major step in the racial integration of the music industry. The “Motown Sound” is a crossover genre, blending pop and soul.

Music Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions
Record producer Barry Gordy talks to the media during the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Friday, April 13, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

The award, in its 15th year, will be presented at a black-tie gala on Nov. 19. Additional details are to be determined. Past recipients include James Earl Jones, Mia Farrow, Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey.

Anderson was a world-famous contralto whose singing career included many firsts for African-Americans in classical music.

Today on Check out this Spotify playlist of some of the classics Gordy wrote or produced.