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Berry Gordy to Receive Marian Anderson Award; Smokey Robinson and Kool & the Gang to Salute Motown Founder

Image courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The Recording Academy (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The Recording Academy (via ABC News Radio)

Motown founder Berry Gordy will be presented with the prestigious Marian Anderson Award at a gala scheduled for November 19 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.  The award, which is named after the famous opera singer, honors artists who have made important contributions by supporting or championing important humanitarian causes and issues.

An all-star lineup will be on hand to salute Gordy during the event, including Smokey Robinson and the famed R&B songwriting and production duo of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff , who will present a special tribute to the influential music mogul.  The ceremony also will feature performances by Kool & the Gang , Boyz II Men and Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon , who portrays Gordy in Motown The Musical .  Actor/comedian Chris Tucker will serve as the evening's host.

In a statement, Marian Anderson Award chair Pamela Browner White praises Gordy as "an individual who created a new genre of American music that is beloved around the world, by young and old, black and white."  She adds, "Just as Marian Anderson did for classical music, Berry Gordy created an extraordinary common ground for all music lovers."

Previous Marian Anderson Award honorees include James Earl Jones , Bill Cosby , Maya Angelou , Sidney Poitier , Oprah Winfrey , Quincy Jones , Elizabeth Taylor and Harry Belafonte .

Tickets for this year's gala can be purchased now by visiting TicketPhiladelphia.org or calling 215-893-1999.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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