Selected as finalists for the latest edition of the Motown Museum’s “Amplify: The Sound of Detroit,” 10 singers have been working through the paces of artist development — vocal coaching, choreography, media training and more — in the spirit of Motown’s classic system. It’s all been lead-up to the finale of “Amplify,” a singing competition to be held March 15, 2023 at the Gem Theatre.
The contestants, ranging in age from 19 to 39, will perform Motown classics that have been stylized to show off each singer’s musical personality, from swing to rock to gospel-blues. Their song selections are handpicked from Motown’s sprawling catalog. Among them: the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby,” Rare Earth’s “I Just Want to Celebrate,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie on Reggae Woman.”
Onstage Wednesday, the 10 singers may be going head-to-head, but since embarking on their “Amplify” journey in November, they’ve become a tight-knit group training together several times a week. That bond will be showcased at the Gem in a new “Amplify” feature: choreographed group performances of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and DeBarge’s “Rhythm of the Night.”
“While this is a competition, it’s also important to our mission to build a community,” said “Amplify” director Tristan Andrews. “We want to keep instilling what was part of that original Hitsville foundation.”
Rapper Doug E. Fresh, who is soon joining the Motown Museum board of trustees, will serve as emcee, alongside a panel of judges.
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