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Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy to Be Honored as MusiCares’ 2023 Persons of the Year

Motown legends Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson will be honored as MusiCares Persons of the Year, with an all-star tribute concert for the duo set for Feb. 3, 2023, two nights before the Grammys.

“Wow! How honored I am to be named the MusiCares Persons of the Year, and together with my best friend of over 65 years, the great Smokey Robinson. How special is that!” Motown founder Gordy said in a statement. “I am grateful to be included in MusiCares’ remarkable history of music icons. The work they do is so critical to the well-being of our music community, and I look forward to a most exciting evening.”

Established in 1989, the Recording Academy-backed MusiCares helps musicians in need of financial, medical, or personal assistance. The non-profit started honoring its Persons of the Year in 1991, with Joni Mitchell, Aerosmith, Dolly Parton, and Fleetwood Mac as the recipients in recent years.

“I have supported MusiCares for many years and know what great work they do for our creative community who need our help,” Robinson, the Miracles frontman and first songwriter to align with Motown, said in a statement. 

“Recently, when no one could tour, they were a lifeline to those in the touring industry for monetary help and mental health services. I am honored that they have chosen me and my best friend and Motown founder Berry Gordy to share this beautiful honor and celebrate with you all together.”

As with the previous Persons of the Year galas, in addition to the all-star tribute concert stocked with (to be announced) Grammy nominees, the event will also feature a reception and silent auction to raise funds for MusiCares. The gala will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“MusiCares is thrilled to be honoring Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at the 2023 Persons of the Year gala, which will be the first time we are honoring two legends together,” Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares, said in a statement. “With Mr. Gordy as the creator of the Motown Sound, and Mr. Robinson as his first writer and artist, their music, along with the many others who joined Motown, reached out across a racially divided country to transform popular music, creating a musical legacy like no other.”

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