Berry Gordy Biography & Net Worth
|Popular Name:||Berry Gordy jr|
|Real Name:||Berry Gordy III|
|Birth Date:||November 28, 1929|
|Birth Place:||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Profession:||Record Executive, Record Producer, Songwriter, Film Producer, Television Producer|
|Years active:||1953 -2019|
|Net Worth:||$450 Million|
|Last Updated:||December, 2020|
Berry Gordy Jr. as he is popularly called is an American record executive, record producer, songwriter, film producer and television producer. Gordy jr is the founder of the Motown record label and its subsidiaries, which was the highest-earning African-American business for decades. This article contains details of Berry Gordy net worth and many more information about his achievements in the music and movie industry, as well as imtruging details of his personal life.
Berry Gordy’s Early Life
Berry Gordy Jr. as he was popularly called was the seventh of eight children. He was born on November 28, 1929 in Detroit, to the middle-class family of Berry Gordy II (also known as Berry Gordy Sr.). His grandfather (Berry Gordy I), was the son of James Gordy, a white plantation owner in Georgia, and a woman he enslaved. His step-brother, James (Son of the elder James and his legal wife), was the grandfather of President Jimmy Carter.
Though his brothers Fuller and George were happy to work at the jobs their father assigned to them in construction and printing, Berry and Robert, the younger boys, were less inclined to follow that path. But Berry and is brother Robert liked dancing and music, but Berry’s greatest interest was in boxing.
Gordy left high school in the eleventh grade to become a professional boxer in hopes of becoming rich quickly; he boxed professionally until 1950, when he was drafted by the United States Army for service in the Korean War.
After his return from Korea in 1953, Gordy Jr. evolved his old interest in music by writing songs and opening the 3-D Record Mart, a record store featuring jazz music and 3-D glasses. The 3-D record mart business was unprofitable, so Gordy sought work at the Lincoln-Mercury plant, but his family connections put him in touch with Al Green (owner of the Flame Show Bar Talent Club), where he met the singer Jackie Wilson.
Berry Gordy’s Career
Berry Gordy success started when he met the well known singer Jackie Wilson. He co-wrote the song “Reet Petite” for the singer which become a smash hit in the US and overseas in the year 1957.
From 1957 to 1959, he produced albums and tracks for many artists including “The Miracles”. It was the encouragement of the Smokey Robinson of “The Miracles” that led him to take a loan of $800 from his family which he used to launch his R&B Record label called Tamla Records.
The first song released by this label happens to be “Come to Me” by Marv Johnson which found immediate success. On the other hand, the very successful song “Bad Girl” by The Miracles was launched under his second label which he named Motown.
Achievements & Awards
Along with Rockwell, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations; Berry Gordy helped to create the legends The Jackson 5, Diana Ross & the Supremes and Stevie Wonder.
Many say that Berry Gordy’s talent to identify musical talents and his ability to carefully manage the public image of the said musicians has helped him to build his empire and make a permanent mark in the music industry.
During the 1960s and 1970s, his record label managed around 450 employees and it generated around $20 million in revenues which is around $144 millions in today’s time; making it one of the most outstanding independent record labels in history.
Berry Gordy sold his shares in the Motown song catalog in the year 1998. MCA Records bought his interests for around $61 million which is around $120 million in today’s time.
He was initiated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement U.S. and the Business Hall of Fame in 1998, including the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2009.
Berry Gordy was the first living individual to receive the honor of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Pioneer Award on June 13, 2013.
Gordy was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2016 for helping to create a trailblazing new sound in American music. Being a producer and songwriter, Berry helped build Motown, launching the music careers of countless legendary artists. His unique sound helped shape our Nation’s story.”
Berry Gordy Square in Los Angeles was designated by the City Council at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Argyle where the office of Motown was located
Personal Life & Family
Berry Gordy married and divorced three times, having eight children. Berry’s three eldest childrens names (Joy, Berry and Terry) was used to name his publishing company (Jobete).
He had three children with his first wife, Thelma Coleman, whom he married in 1953 (they were divorced in 1959):
Berry had Hazel Joy Gordy (born August 24, 1954), Berry Gordy IV (born October 1955), and Terry James Gordy (born August 1956).
Berry also had a son with his then-mistress Margaret Norton, who later become more popularly known as Motown musician Rockwell.
His youngest child is a son born to Nancy Leiviska, popularly known as Redfoo, being one member of the duo LMFAO.
Berry Gordy Net Worth
In the year 1960, Berry Gordy net worth multiplied when he decided to merge his two record labels to form the Motown Record Corporation. As of January 2020, Berry Gordy’s enormous net worth of $450 Million is mostly attributed to the success of Motown Records.