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Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson to be honoured as MusiCares persons of the year


MOTOWN icons Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson will be honoured by the music industry in Los Angeles ahead of the annual Grammy Awards as MusiCares 2023 persons of the year, the organization announced.

MusiCares, which is dedicated to supporting the music community, said the music world will celebrate the legacy of both songwriters during its 32nd annual persons of the year benefit gala.

Berry Gordy, 92, and Smokey Robinson, 82, built the Motown record label in the 1960s and for several decades was the highest-earning Black American record label, nicknamed Hitsville USA for its dozens of chart-toppers.

Gordy, the label’s founder, was the creator of the fabled Motown sound, while Robinson was its first writer and one of its biggest stars. Their bond has inspired generations of popular music, Broadway shows and emerging artists.

“Wow! How honoured I am to be named the MusiCares Persons of the Year, and together with my best friend of over 65 years, the great Smokey Robinson. How special is that!” Gordy said in a statement.

Both Gordy and Robinson have received countless accolades, including induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Among many other honours, Gordy is a Vision Award winner and Robinson is a Grammy winner.

“I have supported MusiCares for many years and know what great work they do for our creative community who need our help,” Robinson said in a statement.

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“Recently, when no one could tour, they were a lifeline to those in the touring industry for monetary help and mental health services. I am honoured that they have chosen me and my best friend and Motown founder Berry Gordy to share this beautiful honour and celebrate with you altogether,” he added.

Organizers did not say which artists would perform at the event, which serves as a fundraiser for MusiCares programs that provide emergency care to music community members.

“MusiCares is thrilled to be honouring Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at the 2023 persons of the year gala, which will be the first time we are honouring two legends together,” Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares, said in a statement.

Gordy and Robinson follow this year’s honoree Joni Mitchell. Past recipients include Dolly Parton and Bruce Springsteen.

By The African Mirror