Berry Gordy to Be Celebrated at 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

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Berry Gordy attends the Universal Music Group’s 2019 After Party To Celebrate The GRAMMYs at ROW DTLA on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Berry Gordy attends the Universal Music Group’s 2019 After Party To Celebrate The GRAMMYs at ROW DTLA on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

The Kennedy Center Honors will be welcoming a new class of honorees into the fold soon and one of the additions is sure to have you “dancing in the street.

Variety reports that Motown founder and music aficionado Berry Gordy will be recognized with the highest honor at this year’s ceremony. He’ll be joining a plethora of other notable honorees from years past including Debbie Allen, Earth, Wind & Fire, Cicely Tyson, Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, Al Green, Mavis Staples and more.

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“The Arts not only give voice to the voiceless, but connect us, transform us, and soothe our souls,” Gordy said in a statement accepting the news Wednesday afternoon. “The Kennedy Center Honors epitomizes the recognition and value of both the Arts, and the artist. I am thrilled to become a part of this prestigious American legacy. Growing up in Detroit, I was not only Black but the “black sheep” of my family. I was a failure at everything I did until I was 29 years old, while my younger brother Robert was not only a family favorite, but strangely, a favorite of mine as well.”

He continued, “He inspired me with his loyalty, love, and graciousness. Throughout the years I’ve been blessed with many wonderful memories, but this—the Kennedy Center Honors—is one that will be forever in my heart. Thank you.”

Per Kennedy Center President and Chief Executive Deborah Rutter, the Honors are set to take place on Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C., but much like last year, the ceremony will be slightly different in the way it’s presented. “The show will feel different, the way we build up to the show will feel different. We may capture some of the tributes in a nontraditional format. We have gone through the worst crisis in performing arts history. We need to celebrate the artists who have carried us through this time,” she told the Washington Post.

Changes aside, there’s no doubting that this award for Gordy is long overdue. Congratulations Mr. Gordy! Motown and the state of music wouldn’t be the same without you.