Motown legends Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson will be honored as MusiCares Persons of the Year. It marks the first time the organization is celebrating two music legends with the distinction in one year, and a star-studded tribute concert for the duo is set for February 3, 2023.
“MusiCares is thrilled to be honoring Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at the 2023 Persons of the Year gala, which will be the first time we are honoring two legends together,” Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares, said in a statement. “With Mr. Gordy as the creator of the Motown Sound, and Mr. Robinson as his first writer and artist, their music, along with the many others who joined Motown, reached out across a racially divided country to transform popular music, creating a musical legacy like no other.”
Established in 1989 by the Recording Academy, MusiCares helps musicians in need of financial, medical, or personal assistance. The non-profit started honoring its Person of the Year in 1991, with Joni Mitchell, Aerosmith, Dolly Parton, and Fleetwood Mac earning the honor in recent years.
“Wow! How honored I am to be named the MusiCares Persons of the Year, and together with my best friend of over 65 years, the great Smokey Robinson. How special is that!” Motown founder Gordy said. “I am grateful to be included in MusiCares’ remarkable history of music icons. The work they do is so critical to the well-being of our music community, and I look forward to a most exciting evening.”
Robinson added, "I have supported MusiCares for many years and know what great work they do for our creative community who need our help. Recently, when no one could tour, they were a lifeline to those in the touring industry for monetary help and mental health services. I am honored that they have chosen me and my best friend and Motown founder Berry Gordy to share this beautiful honor and celebrate with you all together.”
In addition to the all-star tribute concert, the event will feature a reception and silent auction to raise funds for MusiCares. Performers for the tribute concert will be announced at a later date. The gala will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, two nights before the Grammys.
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