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Museum Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

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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Amplify: The Sound of Detroit


Ages 16+ | September - December

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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Ignite Summer Camp
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Ignite Summer Camp


9 - 12 Grade | July 26 - August 5

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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Spark Summer Camp
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Spark Summer Camp


6 – 8 Grade | August 9 - 19

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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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
Calendar of Events

SPARK Showcase


August 19, 2022 @ 2pm

Motown Museum - Rocket Plaza

Free and open to the public

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Legacy Podcast


All Episodes Are Now Available!

Streaming on all Podcast Platforms

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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
Motown Blog

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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Motown Museum

Expansion Campaign

Expansion

Museum Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Contact Us

We are now open! Guests can purchase tour tickets at the Museum Box Office on the day of their visit.

Valerie Simpson

Started in 1966

Singer and songwriter Valerie Simpson, with her husband Nikolas Ashford, penned some of the most prolific love songs of a generation. First meeting in New York City in 1964 the two realized that their music and writing styles were similar so they began to collaborate on Simpson’s personal music as well as writing songs for other artists. Together they wrote songs for a variety of artists including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. In 1966 they caught the attention of Berry Gordy who invited them to Motown. Auditioning a few of their songs they were offered positions as songwriters and producers.

Many Motown artists recorded their songs, but Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell recorded their most popular hits. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Your Precious Love,” and “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” were all written by Ashford and Simpson who often used their own budding relationship as inspiration for their songs. They would also write for Diana Ross and the Supremes including “Somethings You Never Get Used To” as well as “Reach Out

And Touch Somebody’s Hand” for Diana Ross when she pursued a solo career.

Inspired by the success and popularity of their music, Valerie Simpson decided to revive her own singing career after putting it on the shelf. She released two albums at Motown: Exposed (1971) and Valerie Simpson (1972). The albums were mild successes with the breakout single being “Silly Wasn’t I” from her 1971 album which topped out at #24 on the US R&B charts. Building upon their success as songwriters, Valerie and Nikolas wanted to branch out to create a career as a performing couple. In 1973 they left Motown, got married, and began working for Warner Bros as songwriters, performers, and producers.

The work of Valerie Simpson is nothing short of astonishing. With her husband, she has earned 22 gold and platinum records, 3 Grammy nominations and 50 awards from the American Society of Composers, Producers and Songwriters including the Founders Award (the highest achievement one can receive).

SpotifyDiscogs

Valerie Simpson performing “Silly Wasn’t I”

Motown Note

Ashford and Simpson were initially rejected at Motown. But they were determined so they went back with new songs to audition including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. 


Bibliography

Ascap.com. 2010. Ashford & Simpson Honored By Whyhunger. [online] Available at: [https://www.ascap.com/playback/2010/08/Action/AshfordSimpson].

Grien, P., 2019. Ashford & Simpson Will Be the 11th Songwriting Team to Receive the Recording Academy’s Trustees Award | Billboard – Billboard. [online] Billboard.com. Available at: [https://www.billboard.com/music/awards/ashford-and-simpson-songwriting-teams-recording-academy-trustees-award-8510388/].

Letkemann, J., 2014. Maya Angelou in Music: Ashford & Simpson Collab, Calypso Album & More (Listen) | Billboard – Billboard. [online] Billboard.com. Available at: [https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/maya-angelou-music-history-ashford-simpson-calypso-album-listen-6099398/].

New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 2021. Valerie Simpson: Music, Mentors, and Motown. Available at: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay12lfULfCc].

Los Angeles Times. 2011. Nick Ashford of Ashford & Simpson songwriting team dies at 70. [online] Available at: [https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-nick-ashford-20110824-story.html].

Ruhlmann, W., n.d. Ashford & Simpson Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More | AllMusic. [online] AllMusic. Available at: [https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ashford-simpson-mn0000619423?1642526459514].

Grammy.com. n.d. TRUSTEE GRAMMY AWARD. [online] Available at: [https://www.grammy.com/awards/trustee-awards].

Ascap.com. 2012. Valerie Simpson Honors the Legacy of Nick Ashford. [online] Available at: [https://www.ascap.com/playback/2012/01/foundation/Reach_Out_and_Touch].

Songhall.org. n.d. Valerie Simpson | Songwriters Hall of Fame. [online] Available at: [https://www.songhall.org/profile/Valerie_Simpson].


 

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

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Tammi Terrell

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The Supremes

The Supremes

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Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

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Brenda Holloway

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