EBONY Power 100
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Motown

There simply isn't a name in music more synonymous with era-defining hits, star-making, and innovation than Motown. Started in Detroit with a dream and an $800 loan, Berry Gordy's Hitsville USA became a cultural behemoth that swiftly hooked pop culture with a brand new beat. The unmistakable, irrepressible sound of young America didn't just dominate the charts - it crossed the racial divide during the social upheaval of the 1960's. The touring cavalcade of superstars from Diana to Marvin to Smokey blazed trails through the US and across the pond, breaking out of the chitlin circuit to hold court at Buckingham Palace. Under the umbrella of the Motown family, precocious child superstars Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5's Michael Jackson grew into game-changing legends. And the hits and cultural influence didn't stop: the label and its family of imprints explored new genres- like the psychedelia of the undisputed truth- as well as the political and social via black forum releases from the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael. Trendsetting new Motown acts like the Commodores (and later, their star lead singer Lionel Richie), Rick James, and DeBarge gave new generations timeless hits and moments to remember.

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