MusiCares has revealed its honorees for its venerated gala ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs — with a soulful twist.
The philanthropic arm of the Recording Academy has named Motown founder, GRAMMY nominee, Recording Academy President’s Merit Award honoree, and recipient of the GRAMMY Museum’s Architect of Sound Vision Award, Berry Gordy, as one of their Persons of the Year.
Which brings us to another big change this year — this will be MusiCares’ first Persons of the Year Gala. And who better to honor alongside the songwriter, producer and founder of Motown Records than his best friend, and first writer and artist? Yes, the one and only, GRAMMY-winning musical giant Smokey Robinson.
Proceeds from the gala honoring Gordy and Robinson will provide essential support for MusiCares, the leading music charity providing music professionals health and human services across a spectrum of needs. The tribute will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, February 3, 2023, two nights before the 2023 GRAMMYs.
“MusiCares is thrilled to be honoring Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at the 2023 Persons of the Year gala, which will be the first time we are honoring two legends together,” Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares, said in a statement. “With Mr. Gordy as the creator of the Motown Sound, and Mr. Robinson as his first writer and artist, their music, along with the many others who joined Motown, reached out across a racially divided country to transform popular music, creating a musical legacy like no other.”
The MusiCares Persons of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. It includes a reception and silent auction, offering an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind items for bidding guests, followed by a dinner and tribute concert, featuring renowned musicians and other artists paying tribute to Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson.
“Wow! How honored I am to be named the MusiCares Persons of the Year, and together with my best friend of over 65 years, the great Smokey Robinson. How special is that!” Gordy said in a statement. “I am grateful to be included in MusiCares’ remarkable history of music icons. The work they do is so critical to the well-being of our music community, and I look forward to a most exciting evening.”
Adds Smokey Robinson: “I have supported MusiCares for many years and know what great work they do for our creative community who need our help. Recently, when no one could tour, they were a lifeline to those in the touring industry for monetary help and mental health services. I am honored that they have chosen me and my best friend and Motown founder Berry Gordy to share this beautiful honor and celebrate with you all together.”
Since 1991, money raised from this gala has gone toward MusiCares programs and services that assist the music community, including physical and mental health, addiction recovery, preventative clinics, unforeseen personal emergencies, and disaster relief. The safety of our honorees, guests, performers, and staff is our first priority. The event will follow all necessary COVID-19 precautions, safety guidelines and requirements set forth by health officials.
Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson join a prestigious list of recent MusiCares honorees including 2022 honoree Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Dolly Parton, and Aerosmith.
The event will again be produced by live event broadcast outfit Lewis & Clark, made up of Joe Lewis and R.A. Clark. Fellow Detroit native Greg Phillinganes will join the special evening as Musical Director.
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