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Museum Hours

  • Closed for Museum tours. Reopening February 2023.
  • • • • • • • •
  • Visit our MUSEUM STORE inside HITSVILLE NEXT located next door to the Museum
  • Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
  • • • • • • • •
  • Our GREEKTOWN STORE is located at 580 Monroe St. in Detroit
  • Wed-Sat 12-8pm & Sun 12-6pm

We are closed on New Years Day, Memorial Day, Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve

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Motown Museum is the beating heart of the extraordinary Motown legacy—a destination that brings together people and ideas from different generations, and celebrates the past while simultaneously building a bridge to the future.

About Motown Museum

To ensure our vast collection maintains public visibility, and to keep things fresh for our guests, Motown Museum changes its main gallery exhibit 1-2 times per year. Here is what’s currently showing at our museum.

Current Exhibit

Motown Museum transports you into an era of musical magic. From the moment you step on the plaza, you’ll be immersed in the Motown sound and will experience a profound sense of history.

Come See About Us

Hitsville NEXT Programs

Our uniquely curated community programs emphasize education, entrepreneurship and equity—with experiences, mentoring and exposure that nurtures and elevates tomorrow’s history makers. Museum programs cultivate creativity and entrepreneurship in budding talent, allowing great art, big ideas and innovation to flourish.

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Amplify: The Sound of Detroit


Ages 16+ | November 2022 - March 2023

An open to the public, family-oriented event, AMPLIFY seeks to build on the rich legacy of Motown, celebrate the unique voices of Detroit....

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Lyric Project
application Coming Soon

Lyric Project


Ages 13-18 | June 20 - 30

During this two-week entirely virtual online workshop, participants will be immersed in the basics of songwriting, music production, and how to communicate powerful emotion....

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Ignite Summer Camp
application Coming Soon

Ignite Summer Camp


9 - 12 Grade | July 11 - 21

Ignite offers a day program for high school aged singers that will take them on a journey of artistic visioning through collaborative performance opportunities, group lessons and workshops catered to the foundation of artist development....

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Events

From memorable galas and concert performances, to community celebrations and educational programs, we host a range of special events throughout the year.

Hitsville NEXT Events

AMPLIFY: the Sound of Detroit Finale


March 15, 2023

Gem Theatre Detroit

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Motown MIC: The Spoken Word Competition


August 2022

Watch on YouTube

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Private Events

Interested in hosting your own event at Motown?

Facility Rental

Motown Legacy

As an irresistible force of social and cultural change, the legendary Motown portfolio made its mark not just on the music industry, but society at large, with a signature Motown Sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century.

Discover The Legacy

Like many other African Americans in the early 20th century, Berry Gordy, Sr. and his wife, Bertha Fuller Gordy, came North from Georgia to find a better life for themselves and their family.

Gordy Family

Motown is an extended family of some of the most iconic and influential artists, musicians and songwriters of our time. Brought together by destiny through their love for making music, they found themselves making history.

Motown Artists

The culmination of years of planning, hard work and generous contributions from dedicated donors, the highly anticipated, $50 million Motown Museum expansion project will grow the museum campus to a 50,000-square-foot world-class entertainment and education tourist destination.

Expansion

Support Motown Museum

When you contribute to the Motown Museum, you become part of a rich musical and cultural legacy. We are a 501(c)(3) not for profit, tax-exempt organization in Detroit.

Support Motown
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Motown Museum

Expansion Campaign

Expansion

Museum Hours

  • Closed for Museum tours. Reopening February 2023.
  • • • • • • • •
  • Visit our MUSEUM STORE inside HITSVILLE NEXT located next door to the Museum
  • Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
  • • • • • • • •
  • Our GREEKTOWN STORE is located at 580 Monroe St. in Detroit
  • Wed-Sat 12-8pm & Sun 12-6pm
Contact Us

The Museum is currently closed for tours. We will reopen in February 2023 • Visit our two retail locations!

Barrett Strong

Signed in 1959

The voice behind Motown’s first hit, “Money (That’s What I Want),” was Barrett Strong. Through his sister’s friend, Jackie Wilson, Barrett Strong was able to arrange a meeting with Berry Gordy. After they met and Barrett showed him some of his original songs, Berry Gordy signed him to Motown’s Tamla label in April 1959. Together, they wrote and recorded a few songs, including “Let’s Rock” and “Do The Very Best You Can,” but the tunes’ success was limited outside of Detroit.  

In July of 1959, Berry Gordy was working with Motown songwriter and office administrator Janie Bradford on a new song. He explained to her the thing he wanted most at that moment was not love but money. Barrett Strong was in the studio that day and heard them working. He took over the piano playing from Berry Gordy, and together the trio created “Money (That’s What I Want).” The song took off, reaching #2 on the US R&B charts, and almost broke the top 20 on US Pop charts. It was Motown’s first major hit, and no one was prepared. Requests were coming from around the country for a copy of the iconic song and the small Tamla label struggled to keep up. They leased the song to Anna Records, the label owned by Berry Gordy’s sister Gwen, which was more established and able to manage all the requests. Under Anna Records, they sold the record across the country, aiding it in becoming the first Motown hit. 

While Barrett Strong released a few follow-up songs including “Yes, No, Maybe So” (1960), he eventually left Motown in 1961. He bounced around labels before landing in Chicago, signing to Vee-Jay Records, where he would stay for the remainder of his singing career. There, he reconnected with Motown songwriter Norman Whitfield (pictured in the photograph above, standing next to Strong). Strong would not return to Motown as a performer, but he began to write for other artists, including countless songs in partnership with Whitfield. They penned the iconic “Heard It Through The Grapevine” performed by both Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight and the Pips, “War” performed by Edwin Starr, and a slate of songs for the Temptations. His work helped usher in the “Psychedelic” era for the Temptations which included songs “Cloud Nine” and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.” 

Barrett Strong ended his working relationship with Motown in 1971, but his contributions to the company’s success would earn him induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. 

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Motown Note

The guitar and bass players on “Money (That’s What I Want)” were two high school students who were passing Hitsville USA when they heard the music and asked to join the recording. The guitarist was later identified as Eugene Grew.


 

Marv Johnson

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Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

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Gladys Knight And The Pips

Gladys Knight And The Pips

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The Temptations Featured Photo

The Temptations

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Martha and the Vandellas

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

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