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Music

Motown mogul Berry Gordy announces retirement at 89

Music mogul Berry Gordy said he had “come full circle” at a 60th anniversary event for Motown Records on Sunday.
Music mogul Berry Gordy said he had “come full circle” at a 60th anniversary event for Motown Records on Sunday.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

The Motown mogul who launched the careers of numerous stars like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson has announced his retirement.

The Detroit Free Press reports Berry Gordy said he had “come full circle” at a 60th anniversary event for Motown Records on Sunday.

The 89-year-old Detroit native built Motown Records into a hit-making music, film and television empire that shattered racial barriers and introduced the world at large to the sounds of R&B, soul and funk. Gordy sold the record label in 1988, but remained active, developing a musical and staying involved with the Motown Museum’s $50-million expansion campaign.

Speaking about retirement, Gordy said he has “dreamed about it, talked about it, threatened it” for years.

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Director Lee Daniels also presented Gordy with the Motown Legacy honor.

Motown Records didn’t release every indelible pop-soul hit from the ‘60s and ‘70s, although sometimes that’s how it seemed.


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