Following the Grammys, the Recording Academy put on a special tribute to Motown and its founder Berry Gordy Jr. at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration follows other once in a lifetime events such as the Grammys’ salute to Stevie Wonder, The Bee Gees, and The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles. During the Grammy Awards, J-Lo paid tribute to Motown, performing many classics along with guest appearances from Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo as a preview for what was to come the following night. Motown 60 hosted by Smokey Robinson and Cedric the Entertainer included performances from Motown legends like Martha Reeves, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and Robinson as well as some of today’s top artists including Meghan Trainor, John Legend, and Tori Kelly. The show ended with a set from Wonder lasting around 40 minutes.
One of the biggest highlights of the night was a video that was shown featuring Motown’s song-writing teams of Robinson, Valerie Simpson, and Holland-Dozier-Holland discussing the writing of some of Motown’s biggest hits. Diana Ross also gave a spectacular performance which began with her walking down the aisle and then singing to Berry Gordy Jr. before walking onstage. Another highlight was a rare performance from Martha Reeves performing a medley of her hits. There was also a tribute section to Motown stars who are no longer with us, such as Michael Jackson, Mary Wells, and Florence Ballard.
There was one hit after the next, proving how beloved the music of Motown is. During changeovers between sets, various music videos of Motown and Gordy Records artists played on screens in the Theater. Cedric the Entertainer also included audience members' participation with a game of singing the first four bars of Motown Classics. Motown 60 showed how timeless the music of Motown is and the genius of Gordy and how many careers he launched.
Courtesy of the Recording Academy™/ Getty Images © 2019