Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson attend Ryan Gordy Foundation Celebrates 60 Years Of Mowtown in 2019. Wireimage

The Motown Sound will be in full swing during next year’s Grammy Week.

Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson—the founder of Motown Records and the label’s first signee—have been named the 2023 MusiCares Persons of the Year, marking the first time the organization is feting two music luminaries with the distinction in one year. The dynamic duo will be feted at a tribute concert February 3, 2023 at the Los Angeles Convention Center two nights before the Grammy Awards ceremony.

Gordy, the recipient of numerous accolades including the Recording Academy President’s Merit Award honoree, and Grammy winner Robinson, whose hits include Tears of a Clown and Cruisin’ and The Tracks of My Tears, have set the standard for the ultimate bromance during more than six decades of friendship and countless shared industry spotlights.

“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!” said Gordy 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.”

“I have supported MusiCares for many years and know what great work they do for our creative community who need our help,” noted Robinson. “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.”

Proceeds from the ticketed event will will provide essential support for MusiCares, the nonprofit arm of the Recording Academy that provides music professionals health and human services across a spectrum of needs.

“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,” said Laura Segura, executive director of MusiCares. “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.”

Gordy and Robinson join a prestigious list of recent MusiCares honorees including 2022 honoree Joni Mitchell and past luminaries Fleetwood Mac, Dolly Parton and Aerosmith. The 2023 tribute event will again be produced by live event broadcast outfit Lewis & Clark, with fellow Detroit native Greg Phillinganes joining as musical director.

This article was written by Cathy Applefeld Olson from Forbes and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to

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