Berry Gordy Receives 2013 Marian Anderson Award
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that Berry Gordy the legendary force behind the creation of Motown and many of America's top pop music stars will receive the 2013 Marian Anderson Award. In making the announcement, Mayor Nutter noted that, "Few individuals have changed the course of music history as Berry Gordy, who created one of the most influential music genres of all time, managed to break racial barriers, encouraged careers for so many, and entertained millions of people with the Motown Sound, has. I am proud to announce Berry Gordy as the recipient of the 15th Annual Marian Anderson Award and celebrate Motown in Philadelphia."
In commenting on the announcement, the Award board chair Pamela Browner White expressed how excited the entire board was to be preparing an evening that will celebrate Berry Gordy and some of the most popular music of the last 50 years. "Berry Gordy is a world class mentor, producer, and entrepreneur, and all the stars he launched have become an enormous part of our popular culture. This music recognizes no boundaries. It is beloved by everyone and has been one of this country's gifts to world culture. And it exists because of Berry Gordy."
Berry Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise based in Detroit, Michigan, 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. The "Motown Sound" reached out across a racially divided, and politically and socially charged country to transform popular music. Gordy is the creative force and inspiration behind the new Broadway hit musical Motown The Musical.
Mr. Gordy is also a songwriter, boxer, producer, director, innovative entrepreneur, teacher and visionary. His films include Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues, which garnered five Academy Award nominations.
Browner White continues, "Part of our work is to encourage young men and women to follow their dreams inspired by people like Marian Anderson and Berry Gordy. Miss Anderson would be the first to say that her career was the result of many people helping her along the way. And we at the Award are trying to provide the same crucial assistance and support for young artists through our Young Artist Study-Grant program that was inspired by Miss Anderson and visionaries like Berry Gordy."
MARIAN ANDERSON AWARD
The Marian Anderson Award honors artists and individuals whose body of work has improved the world beyond the power to entertain. Previous recipients include James Earl Jones (2012), Mia Farrow (2011), Bill Cosby (2010), Maya Angelou and Norman Lear (2008), Richard Gere (2007), Sidney Poitier (2006), Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis (2005), Oprah Winfrey (2003), Danny Glover (2002), Quincy Jones (2001), Elizabeth Taylor (2000), Gregory Peck (1999), and Harry Belafonte (1998). No Award was given in 2004 or 2009.
This year's Gala Performance on November 19th, the details of which will be announced this summer, will be preceded by the annual black-tie Gala Dinner, also at the KimMel Center. For more information, call the Marian Anderson Award office at 215-893-1837.