Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today, Motown founder and music business legend, Berry Gordy will be the recipient of the prestigious Pioneer Award, to be presented at the 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 13th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
The Pioneer Award was established in 2012 to honor the career of a historic creator of an extensive body of musical work that has been a major influence on generations of songwriters. The first recipient of the award was Woody Guthrie in 2012 but he had already passed when the honor was bestowed upon him.
“Berry Gordy is an innovator and a visionary. Yes, he created a label but more than that, he created a genre,’ said Webb. ‘Think about it, he pioneered a marketplace for African American artistry and then he invited the world in to enjoy it. Berry was way ahead of his time; his young and immaculately groomed and dressed artists were among the first to receive media training. Berry Gordy and the Motown sound are essential to the American music story.”