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Museum Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10AM - 6PM
  • Friday: 10AM - 6PM
  • Saturday: 10AM - 6PM
  • Sunday: 10AM - 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 second you walk through the door, you’ll be greeted with the voices of Motown and a profound sense of history and significance.

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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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application Open

Amplify: The Sound of Detroit Singing Competition


Ages 16+ | September - January

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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Spark Summer Camp
registration Closed

Spark Summer Camp


6 – 9 Grade | August 2 - 13

Motown SPARK is a day camp that provides a safe space for middle school aged participants to explore career opportunities available in the music industry and find their artistic talent....

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Ignite Summer Camp
application Closed

Ignite Summer Camp


10 - 12 Grade | August 2 - 13

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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Hitsville NEXT Events

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

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Lyric Project: Songwriter Showcase


July 16, 2021 @ 7PM EST

Online

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Motown MIC: The Spoken Word Grand Finale


April 29, 2021 @ 7pm

Online

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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.

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Museum Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10AM - 6PM
  • Friday: 10AM - 6PM
  • Saturday: 10AM - 6PM
  • Sunday: 10AM - 6PM
Contact Us

Shop Around (Shop, Shop) in-person at the Museum! Curbside pick is also available for phone orders!

The Velvelettes

Signed in 1962

Motown Museum Star

Bertha Barbee

Motown Museum Star

Norma Barbee

Motown Museum Star

Carolyn "Cal" Gill

Motown Museum Star

Mildred Gill

Motown Museum Star

Betty Kelley

The Velvelettes

A drive from Kalamazoo to Detroit in a snowstorm to audition for Motown paid off for five college and high school students when Motown signed The Velvelettes as recording artists in 1962. Founded by Western Michigan students Bertha Barbee and Mildred Gill, the group’s roster also included Betty Kelley (who later joined the Vandellas), Mildred’s younger sister Carolyn (aka Cal) Gill and Bertha’s cousin Norma Barbee.

Two of The Velvelettes’ early recordings, “There He Goes” and “That’s the Reason Why,” featured a very young Stevie Wonder on harmonica. While neither of these releases made the charts, the group’s third single and trademark song, “Needle in a Haystack,” reached #45 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1964. Working with producer Norman Whitfield, The Velvelettes recorded “He Was Really Saying Something,” which gained popularity and reached #21 on the R&B chart and the Top 100 on the Pop chart. The group toured with the Motortown Revue extensively and is a favorite with international audiences as well.

SpotifyDiscogs

The Velvelettes perform “These Things Will Keep Me Loving You” in 1966.

The original Velvelettes perform “Needle in a Haystack” in 2005.

 

All Members of The Velvelettes

  • Carolyn “Cal” Gill
  • Mildred Gill
  • Bertha Barbee
  • Norma Barbee
  • Betty Kelley
  • Annette McMullen
  • Sandra Tilley

Motown Note

Berry Gordy was not the only family member with an eye and an ear for talent. Robert Bullock, Gordy’s nephew and son of Motown executive Esther Gordy Edwards, discovered The Velvelettes when they performed for fraternity and other parties at Western Michigan University.

 


 

The Contours

The Contours

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The Marvelettes

The Marvelettes

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The Supremes

The Supremes

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Martha and the Vandellas

Martha and the Vandellas

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The Adantes

The Andantes

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