Berry Gordy is is the founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise that nurtured the careers of Diana Ross & The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, and many other music greats. The Motown sound reached out across a racially divided, politically and socially-charged country to transform popular music. Gordy is also a songwriter, boxer, producer, director, innovative entrepreneur, teacher, and visionary. Berry Gordy is portrayed in Motown the Musical by Chester Gregory.
Diana Ross is an international music icon and actress. She began her singing career as a member of the local Detroit girl group who would later be signed to Motown Records under the name The Supremes. Ross began a solo career in 1970 - she has recorded eighteen #1 singles, been named the Female Entertainer of the Century by Billboard Magazine, and she earned a Guinness World Record for having more hits than any other female artist in the charts. Diana Ross is portrayed in Motown the Musical by Allison Semmes.
Marvin Gaye met Berry Gordy while performing at the company Christmas party at Hitsville. Gaye’s work with Motown in the 1960s and 1970s shaped the label’s signature sound. He has been remembered as the Prince of Soul and the prince of Motown, recognized for spanning the entirety of rhythm and blues. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.and received a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award. Marvin Gaye is portrayed in Motown the Musical by Jarran Muse.
The Jackson 5 consisted of five brothers from the same Gary, Indiana family. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson first started performing together after their father, a former musician and steel mill worker recognized their potential. The group’s first single, “I Want You Back,” soon reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, an accomplishment that was followed by other singles crafted especially for them by the Motown team – “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There” – all blended the signature Motown sound with teen-focused lyrics that executives coined “bubblegum soul.”
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