The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House
“The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House” is a PBS music special in the East Room of the White House. President and Mrs. Obama will host the event in celebration of Black History Month and the legacy of Motown, the distinctive soul-infused pop music sound, style and presentation that was born in Detroit and embodied by the Motown Records label. The evening will include program host Jamie Foxx and performances by Foxx, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, the group Gloriana, Nick Jonas, Ledisi, John Legend, Amber Riley, Smokey Robinson, Mark Salling, Seal and Jordin Sparks.
The all-star tribute to the legendary Motown Sound will include stars from the Motown Records label’s golden age and performances by artists of today who have been influenced by Motown and its powerful legacy. Celebrating a 50th anniversary last year, the Motown Records label was devised by music entrepreneur Berry Gordy and launched an historic cultural shift in the racial integration of popular music, with crossover hits and artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, The Four Tops and many others.
“The Motown Sound transformed a whole generation musically, and its rich legacy continues to be felt today. To celebrate these songs and the original greats of Motown at the White House in an event during Black History Month is a wonderful tribute to the music beloved by so many,” commented Jacquie Jones, executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium, a production partner for the project.