These 4 Motown Stars Obtained Kennedy Heart Honors Earlier than Label Founder Berry Gordy


Gordy, 91, based Motown Information in 1959. 4 of his greatest stars obtained the dignity earlier than he did. Have a look:

Stevie Surprise:  Surprise was simply 49 when he obtained the dignity in 1999. That makes him one of many youngest Kennedy Heart Honorees in historical past, together with LL Cool J (2017) and Midori (2021), who have been additionally 49 after they have been honored in 2017 and 2021, respectively, and the creators of Hamilton: An American Musical, who have been even youthful after they obtained a particular Kennedy Heart Honor in 2018. Surprise is the one artist in Grammy historical past to win album of the 12 months with three consecutive studio albums: Innervisions (1973), FulfillingnessFirst Finale (1974) and Songs within the Key of Life (1976). Surprise has amassed 25 Grammys and likewise received an Oscar for “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from The Lady in Crimson (1984).

Smokey Robinson: The songwriter, former chief of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and solo star was 66 when he was honored in 2006. Robinson, one of many best songwriters in historical past, has received only one Grammy in competitors, for “Just to See Her” (which he did not write!). The tune, a high 10 hit on the Billboard Sizzling 100, took the 1987 award for greatest R&B vocal efficiency, male.

Diana Ross: The previous chief of Diana Ross & the Supremes and solo famous person was 63 when she was honored in 2007. Ross has but to win a Grammy in competitors, regardless of 12 nominations over time. (That is laborious to think about.) She obtained an Oscar nod for her efficiency as Billie Vacation in Woman Sings the Blues (1972).

Lionel Richie: The previous chief of Commodores and solo star was 68 when he was honored in 2017. Richie has received 4 Grammys, together with album of the 12 months for his second solo album, Can’t Sluggish Down (1984), and tune of the 12 months for “We Are the World” (1985), which he co-wrote with Motown alum Michael Jackson. Richie additionally received an Oscar for “Say You Say Me” from White Nights (1985).

Two different artists who rose to fame on Motown — Marvin Gaye and Jackson — are of ample stature to be severely thought of for Kennedy Heart Honors, however each died earlier than they might be honored. Gaye was shot to loss of life in 1984. Jackson died of cardiac arrest in 2009. The Kennedy Heart has by no means honored a solo artist posthumously (although they’ve acknowledged two deceased group members — Glenn Frey of Eagles and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fireplace).


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