Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations and others will be on hand later this month to celebrate Motown’s 50th anniversary back home in Detroit.
The two-night affair on Nov. 20-21, titled “Live It Again!,” will benefit the Motown Historical Museum, which is located in the company’s original Hitsville U.S.A. headquarters in Detroit’s midtown section. The weekend will kick-off at the Roostertail, a nightclub that hosted many Motown performances and parties, with a program honoring Motown alumni followed by a an autograph session with members of the Contours and Miracles, among others. A “Bop to the Ballroom” dance party will follow.
On Nov. 21, the Temptatons and Franklin will headline a black-tie gala at Detroit’s GM Renaissance Center, while Stevie Wonder will offer “a special tribute performance” to Motown Founder Berry Gordy, Jr., and his sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, a Motown vice-president who founded the Motown museum. Actor/comedian Sinbad will host, and the evening will also include memorial tributes to Michael Jackson, the Four Tops’ Levi Stubbs and producer/songwriter Norman Whitefield, and honors for Motown’s “First Five” — Smokey Robinson, Brian Holland, Robert Bateman, Janie Bradford and Raynoma Singleton.
Tickets for the Nov. 20 Roostertail party are $50, while the Nov. 21 gala runs $350. Tickets can be purchased by calling (313) 875-2264 or visiting motownmuseum.com.
Motown’s 50th will also be feted during halftime of the Detroit Lions’ annual Thanksgiving day football game. “A Motown 50th Anniversary Tribute” will feature current Motown stars — including KEM, Melanie Fiona and Shontelle — performing some of the label’s biggest hits. The segment will be televised by Fox, and fans will be able to download a recording of the medley online at nfl.com/thanksgiving, with proceeds going to benefit the United Way.