By Branden Hunter
Motown Records was founded in Detroit in 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr. To commemorate its 60th year, the Motown Museum announced plans for its highly anticipated Motown 60 Weekend set for September 21-23. The three-day event is packed full of music and star power converging on Detroit in true Motown style for an incredible not-to-be-missed celebration benefiting Motown Museum.
“It’s been such an important year for us to share Motown history and celebrate this milestone in a big way,” said Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry. “Our Motown 60 Weekend is the culmination of a year-long celebration all happening right here in Detroit. We’ve created three special and unique events for Motown fans. Most importantly, we will honor and celebrate Motown’s iconic visionary founder Berry Gordy in Detroit where this story was born. We invite all Motown fans to join us as we celebrate the musical and cultural impact of this incredible legacy.”
The weekend’s festivities include a “Motown Gospel Concert” Saturday, September 21 at Detroit World Outreach. The concert will feature artists performing traditional gospel music along with spiritually enhanced Motown favorites. Artists include Grammy Award-winning artist Regina Belle, Stellar Award-winning and current Motown gospel label group Tye Tribbet & G.A., Tasha Page-Lockhart, winner of the gospel singing competition Sunday Best that airs on BET, and Detroit gospel royalty Kierra “Kiki” Sheard. A 125-person choir from more than 70 local faith-based groups will perform. With a capacity of 3,000 people, this is an open-to-the public, free community concert. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis beginning August 28. For more information, please visit motownmuseum.org.
During “Hitsville Honors: Celebrating Berry Gordy & 60 Years of Motown” Sunday, September 22 at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Marjorie J. Fisher Music Center, the city that started it all will soon play host to an unforgettable evening of extraordinary entertainment. Hitsville Honors is a powerful musical tribute to Motown’s legacy and a celebration of the Motown family. Highlights will include a tribute to Motown founder Berry Gordy and a celebration of his incredible life and transformative musical and entrepreneurial vision. The evening will be a star-studded event, with planned appearances by celebrities, local dignitaries and special guests. The Temptations, Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and Mary Wilson will perform Motown favorites. That legendary lineup is just the beginning. Award-winning Motown artists Ne-Yo and Kem will be joined by Detroit’s own Big Sean with other artists and performances to be announced. The result is sure to be a moment unlike any other, where legendary meets contemporary, and where Motown favorites come together with some of today’s most innovative talents to showcase the generational impact and lasting legacy of Motown. Tickets range from $50-$1,000 and include various opportunities, including pre- and post-event receptions. Tickets for Hitsville Honors go on sale Thursday, Aug. 1 and can be purchased at www.motownmuseum.org.
The ”Soul In One Celebrity Golf Classic” will take place Monday, September 23 at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield Township. Guests will join Motown alumni and celebrities for an afternoon tee time and a gourmet lunch and dinner. Pricing ranges from $350 for an individual golfer with groups packages available. To register golf event and for information about sponsorship opportunities and tickets packages for all events, contact Motown Museum Director of Development and Community Activation, Paul Barker, at (313) 875-2264, Ext. 226, or email email@example.com.
In addition to the Motown Museum hosted weekend of events, the Friends of Fuller Gordy Strikefest event, an L.A.-based annual affair led by his daughter Iris Gordy and granddaughter Karla Gordy Bristol, will honor Motown VP, humanitarian and pro bowler Fuller Gordy. The event will serve as a casual ‘warm up’ for Motown alumni, family, friends and fans to connect and support Motown Museum prior to the weekend’s festivities. Featuring bowling, karaoke, dinner and Motown music, Strikefest will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park. To inquire about tickets and for more information, visit http://friendsoffuller.org.
The Motown Museum was founded in 1985 by Esther Gordy Edwards and is committed to preserving, protecting, and presenting the Motown story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences.
Announced in late 2016, the Motown Museum expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot world-class entertainment and education tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by reknown architects and exhibit designers. When completed, the new museum campus will have a transformative impact on the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods, providing employment, sustainability and community pride by serving as an important catalyst for new investment and tourism in the historic area.
This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.