GRAMMY Museum To Honor Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson

Motown founder and GRAMMY winner to receive Museum's first-ever Architects of Sound Awards at inaugural benefit gala on Nov. 11
  • Photo: John Sciulli/
    Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy
  • Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
    Randy Jackson
  • Photo: Denise Truscello/
    Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Nate Morris
  • Photo: Steve Granitz/
    Kelly Rowland
October 21, 2013 -- 6:00 am PDT

Motown founder Berry Gordy and GRAMMY winner Smokey Robinson will be honored with the GRAMMY Museum's first-ever Architects of Sound Award at the inaugural GRAMMY Museum benefit gala dinner and concert on Nov. 11 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

In recognition of their phenomenal contributions to music, Gordy will receive the Architect of Sound: Vision Award and Robinson will receive the Architect of Sound: Artist Award. With selections made 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.

The gala will begin with a reception and tour of the GRAMMY Museum, followed by a dinner and awards presentation, hosted by music industry veteran and television personality Randy Jackson. The celebration will culminate with a concert, produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, featuring four-time GRAMMY-winning group Boyz II Men and four-time GRAMMY winner Kelly Rowland. Proceeds from the gala will provide essential support for the GRAMMY Museum.

"We are honored to celebrate both Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson as the first-ever recipients of the Architects of Sound Award," said Bob Santelli, GRAMMY Museum Executive Director. "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."

Gordy is the founder of Detroit-based Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise that nurtured the careers of artists such as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross And The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, among others. His film productions include Mahogany (1975) and Lady Sings The Blues (1972), which together garnered six 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. Gordy's contribution to music and popular culture is chronicled in his autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories Of Motown. The book is the basis for his play, "Motown The Musical," which made its world premiere on Broadway in April, garnered four Tony nominations and was described by The New York Times as "the biggest box office hit of the year."

Once called America's "greatest living poet" by Bob Dylan, Robinson's career spans more than four decades of hits. His numerous awards include the GRAMMY Legend Award, The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award, an honorary doctorate from Howard University, and the National Medal of Arts Award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been recognized as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. Born and raised in Detroit, Robinson founded the Miracles while still in high school. The first group managed by Gordy, the Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the '60s and early '70s. 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 artists such as the Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, and Marvin Gaye. In early 2014, Robinson plans to release a duets collection of his greatest hits and compositions performed with today's top recording artists.

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