Monday, January 12, was the official 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking Motown record label, half a century to the day since Berry Gordy borrowed 800 US Dollars from his family to start a record label that would eventually change the music world forever.
Music fans around the globe will be celebrating as radio stations play Motown marathons, concerts are performed and stage musicals based on the label are premiered.
Former Motown president, Skip Miller, believes that the celebrations will be a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Motown stars while they are still alive, following the recent deaths of Levi Stubbs from the Four Tops and Pervis Jackson from The Spinners.
Duke Fakir of the Four Tops believes the timing is perfect considering the upcoming inauguration of the first black US president: “Motown’s crossover success prompted Americans to begin to look at black America differently,” he said.
Berry Gordy sold Motown in 1988 for 61 million US Dollars and the popularity of hits by stars such as The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and the Temptations continue to entertain fans today.