Motown founder Berry Gordy and grammy winner Smokey Robinson will be honored with The grammy Museum’s first-ever Architects of Sound Award, it was announced today by Bob Santelli, executive director of the Museum. Proceeds from the inaugural grammy Museum benefit gala dinner and concert — to be held on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles — will provide essential support for the Museum, an educational and interactive museum dedicated to engaging both children and adults in the power of music through dynamic exhibits, educational programs, live performances and more. The event will be hosted by music industry veteran and television personality Randy Jackson.
In recognition of their unparalleled contributions to the Motown genre, Gordy will receive the Architect of Sound: Vision Award and Robinson will receive the Architect of Sound: Artist Award. Selected by the Museum and its Board of Directors, the Architect of Sound Awards are dedicated to honoring those who are catalysts in changing the musical legacy of America, and who helped shape the sound of a specific genre.
“We are honored to celebrate both Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson as the first-ever recipients of the Architects of Sound Awards,” said Santelli. “Their contributions to Motown have truly changed the landscape of American music. We are grateful to these extraordinary industry leaders who will be helping us celebrate not only our first gala, but also our upcoming five-year anniversary of The grammy Museum.”
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Berry Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise, birthed in Detroit, that nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, and many other music greats. Mr. Gordy is also a songwriter, boxer, producer, director, innovative entrepreneur, teacher and visionary. Actively involved in the Civil Rights movement, he also released the recorded speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His films include Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues, which together garnered five Academy Award nominations. Among the awards recognizing Gordy’s accomplishments are the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, the Gordon Grand Fellow from Yale University, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the Rainbow Coalition’s Man of the Millennium Award, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award, and the grammy Salute To Industry Icons® President’s Merit Award. Berry Gordy’s unparalleled contribution to music and popular culture is chronicled in his autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown. It is the basis for his play, Motown the Musical, which had its world premiere on Broadway on April 14, 2013, garnered four Tony nominations, with the New York Times calling it “the biggest box office hit of the year.”
Once pronounced by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet,” acclaimed singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson’s career spans more than four decades of hits. He has received numerous awards including the grammy Legend Award, The Recording Academy® Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and has been honored at The Kennedy Center. Born and raised in Detroit, Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school. They were the first group managed by Berry Gordy. The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960s and early ’70s, and Robinson became Vice President of Motown records serving as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter. In addition to writing hits for the Miracles, Robinson wrote and produced hits for other Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. Following his tenure at Motown, he continued his impressive touring career and released several successful solo albums. Robinson continues to thrill sold-out audiences around the world with his high tenor voice, impeccable timing, and profound sense of lyric. Never resting on his laurels, Robinson remains a beloved icon in our musical heritage. In early 2014, Robinson plans to release a duets collection of his greatest hits and compositions performed with today’s top recording artists.
Gala Tribute Concert
The 2013 grammy Museum Architects of Sound Gala will begin with a reception and touring of the grammy Museum, followed by a dinner and awards presentation, hosted by Jackson. The celebration will culminate with a concert, produced by Ken Ehrlich Productions, featuring four-time GRAMMY-winning group Boyz II Men and four-time grammy winner Kelly Rowland. In addition to serving as a grammy Museum Board member, Ken Ehrlich has produced the GRAMMY Awards® telecast since 1980 and is responsible for the creation and presentation of the show’s most iconic GRAMMY moments during that time.
Major gala sponsors include The Recording Academy, AEG, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Additional sponsors include CBS Corporation, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, Carolyn Powers and The David Geffen Foundation. Media sponsorship will be provided by Los Angeles Magazine.