Motown Founder Berry Gordy to Receive Kennedy Center Honors in 2021

Berry Gordy in 2020
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Berry Gordy is among the notable names to be recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors at the end of 2021.

"The Kennedy Center Honors epitomizes the recognition and value of both the Arts, and the Artist," Gordy said in a statement. "Throughout the years I've been blessed with many wonderful memories, but this - the Kennedy Center Honors - is one that will be forever in my heart."

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Gordy, of course, is the Detroit businessman whose love of soul music led him to found Motown Records, the label that launched the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Rick James, Boyz II Men and many others - altogether, one of the most influential soul and pop music catalogs of all time.

The record mogul joins pop musicians Joni Mitchell and Bette Midler, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and opera singer Justino Díaz in this year's class. The black tie ceremony will take place Dec. 5, 2021 in Washington, D.C., with a two-hour presentation of highlights to air on CBS at a later date. (2020's honorees, including musicians Garth Brooks, Joan Baez and Midori and actors Debbie Allen and Dick Van Dyke, were celebrated at an event that took place in June 2021, after the COVID-19 vaccine was able to be more widely administered.)

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