Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first record label owned by an African American to primarily feature African-American artists who achieved crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its soul-based subsidiaries were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as The Motown Sound, a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.
Motown has owned or distributed releases from more than 45 subsidiaries in varying genres, although it is most famous for its releases in the music genres of rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop and pop. Motown Records left Detroit for Los Angeles in 1972, and remained an independent company until June 28, 1988, when Gordy sold the company to MCA and Boston Ventures (which took over full ownership of Motown in 1991), then to PolyGram in 1994. Now headquartered in New York City, Motown Records is a subsidiary of The Universal Motown/Universal Republic Group, itself a subsidiary of Universal Music Group.
It would be a crazy social music experiment to see if any modern day artist could remake the Motown sound; the only artists that I see that are ‘close’ would be a Chrisette Michelle, Amy Winehouse, or even a Jon Legend. But I think with R&B in a current stalemate, the people could use some of that classic old soul sound.
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