added: 13 Mar 2013 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk
Motown founder 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, Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today.
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. Gordy is the first living person to receive this distinction, which was presented posthumously to Woody Guthrie in 2012.
"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."
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL, based on the life of iconic Motown founder Berry Gordy, features music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Gordy. Broadway performances began March 11 toward an official opening night on April 14 at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Previously announced inductees at this year's SHOF event include Tony Hatch, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry.