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Motown founder Gordy donates $4 million to museum expansion

motown museum in Detroit
Ted Eytan
Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr. is donating $4 million toward a project to expand Detroit's Motown Museum, according to an announcement Wednesday by museum officials. They say Gordy's gift is the single largest individual gift to the $50 million expansion project.

The plan is to build 50,000 square feet of new museum space around the original "Hitsville U.S.A." building in Detroit. The project will feature new exhibition, recording and performance space.

The fundraising effort was launched in 2016.

Officials said Gordy's donation is in addition to gifts from institutions and organizations across the country. 

Gordy founded the iconic record company in Detroit 60 years ago with an $800 family loan. In 1972 he moved the company to Los Angeles.  

Gordy's late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, launched the museum in 1985 in the former "Hitsville U.S.A" headquarters.

Gordy said in a statement, "Not only will the expanded museum entertain and tell the stories of talented and creative people who succeeded against all odds, but it will also inspire and create opportunity for people to explore their dreams the way I did mine. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of that."

Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder,  the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Temptations and Marvin Gaye are among those in Motown's legendary roster of influential artists.

Celebrate Motown with this Spotify playlist.

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