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22 April 2019, 20:18
Motown celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019, and its surviving artists reunited for a special concert in Los Angeles last night (April 21).
On the TV special, Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration, Smokey Robinson and Cedric the Entertainer hosted the special occasion, introducing iconic Motown artists and other singers inspired by them.
Diana Ross performed a medley of classic hits, and personally serenaded label founder Berry Gordy with a version of ‘My Man’, adding: “Thank you for all you have done for my life. You are a gift to all of us”.
Gordy also spoke himself, telling the audience how Motown “brought people together who didn’t realise they had so much in common,” and his original vision to make “music for all people”.
Smokey also put on a career-spanning mini-set, including ‘Tears Of A Clown’ by the Miracles, and a version of 'Shop Around' with a cappella group Pentatonix.
As well as other Motown icons such as Stevie Wonder, Thelma Houston, Martha Reeves, Valerie Simpson and members of songwriting team Holland–Dozier–Holland, the show also featured performances by John Legend, who gave an amazing cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Mercy Mercy Me’, while Ciara paid tribute to Rick James to perform ‘Superfreak’.
Jennifer Lopez reprised her Motown medley tribute from the Grammy Awards, while Chloe x Halle gave a tribute to the Supremes with ‘Please Mr Postman’. Tori Kelly channelled Tammi Terrell for ‘Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing’, while Fantasia honoured Mary Wells with ‘My Guy’.
Stevie Wonder closed the show with his own mini-concert, performing the likes of ‘Master Blaster (Jammin)’, ‘My Cherie Amour’ and ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours’.
What a night!