AMERICAN IDOL CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF MOTOWN THIS WEEK

On a special Wednesday, March 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) performance show, the Top 10 finalists (Kris Allen, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Megan Joy, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Lil Rounds and Michael Sarver) will return to the IDOL stage to celebrate and pay tribute to “50 Years of Motown” as well as perform classic Motown songs. The IDOLS were treated to a tour of Hitsville, the birthplace of superstars such as Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and the Jackson 5 and had the rare opportunity to sit down with the legendary Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson for their advice.

 

Tune in the following night Thursday, March 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) to see Smokey Robinson perform and find out if the judges use their save or if America sends another finalist home.

 

Smokey Robinson has been synonymous with the Motown sound since the late 1950s when he first met Motown founder Berry Gordy in Detroit. Gordy took Robinson and The Miracles under his wing, and in 1960, signed them to Motown. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles had hit after hit, including “Shop Around,” “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby” and “I Second That Emotion.” Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. A familiar face on the IDOL stage, he performed a medley of his hits with the Top 6 male finalists on the AMERICAN IDOL Season Six finale.

 

Songwriter, producer, director and entrepreneur Berry Gordy is the man behind the Motown sound. Under his leadership, Motown achieved one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century by creating music that broke down barriers in a segregated country, touching all people, regardless of color. Starting out in a house that came to be known as Hitsville, USA, he built Motown into a record company with one of the most impressive rosters of artists in the history of pop music. What Berry Gordy and Motown accomplished in music, television and film had never been achieved before; their contributions to music past, present and future are truly immeasurable.

 

The distinctive, upbeat and uplifting music of Motown brought together pop and soul, white and black, old and young, like never before and continues to this day. Motown broke down racial prejudice by becoming the most successful independent record company in history and the most successful African-American owned business in America. Today, the label is part of the Universal Music Group, with its classic recorded music catalog managed by Universal Music Enterprises, and the timeless songs of Motown from 1959 to 1985 are represented by EMI Music Publishing. Through the end of 2009, Universal Music Group and EMI Music Publishing will mark the 50th anniversary of the historic Detroit label’s musical achievements with a series of initiatives, including monthly music releases.

 

AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America.

 

Visit americanidol.com for exclusive videos, interviews and photos of the finalists as well as special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news. For all photo requests, please go to foxflash.com.

 

Visit www.motown.com for Motown information.

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