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Smokey Robinson & Berry Gordy honored as MusiCares Persons of the Year

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The stars came out in Los Angeles Friday night to celebrate Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, who were honored as the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Persons of the Year, the first time the organization has had dual honorees.


USA Today reports the star-studded night featured performances of plenty of Motown classics, including a surprise performance by Stevie Wonder, who performed “Try Something New” and joked that Gordy “didn’t think I could sing” when he was younger. Stevie also performed a reggae version of “The Tears of a Clown.”

Lionel Richie was also on hand to celebrate his two friends, performing his classic “Easy.” He told the crowd, “To get a chance to sit here in front of two of my amazing mentors … I don’t know if I’m more excited to be part of the Motown family or having Berry and Smokey as my dear friends.”

Among the other performances: Dionne Warwick sang “My Guy,” Sheryl Crow performed the Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back,” Brandi Carlile performed “The Tracks of My Tears,” The Temptations treated the crowd to a medley of “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “I Can’t Get Next to You” and “My Girl, and The Four Tops sang a medley of “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).”

Smokey himself, who’s 82, also performed a ballad he wrote for Gordy called “Did You Know,” telling Gordy they have “the best friendship in the world,” and adding, “you are so precious.”

Gordy, 93, reiterated Smokey’s sentiment in his acceptance speech, sharing, “I’m happy to be here with my best friend. I mean…damn.”

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