Berry Gordy Biography, Age, Parents, Siblings, Wife, Songs and Death

Berry Gordy Biography

Berry Gordy III, also known as Berry Gordy Jr., professionally, is an American songwriter, TV producer, film producer, record executive and record producer. He is the founder of the Motown Record Corporation (1959), a record label and its subsidiaries. It was the most successful black-owned music company in the U.S. as it was  the highest-earning African-American business.

Through Motown, Gordy developed the majority of the great rhythm-and-blues (R&B) performers of the 1960s and ’70s, including Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five. He was said to have masterminded the popular “Motown sound,” a ballad-based blend of traditional black harmony and gospel music with the lively beat of R&B.

Berry Gordy Age

Gordy was born on 28th November 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. He is 88 years old as of 2018.

Berry Gordy Family | Berry Gordy Parents

Gordy was born in Detroit to Berry Gordy II (also called Berry Gordy Sr.), a plastering contractor and Bertha Fuller Gordy, an insurance agent. They died in died in 1978 and 1975 respectively. His father had from Oconee in Washington County, Georgia, to Detroit in 1922 when he learnt of the job opportunities for black people offered by the booming automotive businesses.

The first Berry Gordy was the son of a white plantation owner named James Gordy, in Georgia and his female slave. His half-brother, James, was the grandfather of President Jimmy Carter.

Berry Gordy Siblings

Berry Jr. has had seven siblings that included three brothers and four sisters. He is the seventh child out of eight: the eldest Gordy was Fuller Berry Gordy (1918 – 1991), Esther Gordy Edwards (1920 – 2011), Anna Ruby Gordy Gaye (1922 – 2014), Loucye Gordy Wakefield (1924 – 1965), George Weldon Gordy Sr. (1926 – 2011), Gwen Gordy Fuqua (1927 – 1999) and younger brother Robert Louis Gordy (born in 1931).

Berry Gordy’s Photo

Berry Gordy Wife | Berry Gordy Spouse | Berry Gordy Thelma Coleman

Berry has been married and divorced three times. He has eight children from his three marriages. His first wife was Thelma Coleman whom he married in 1953 and they divorced in 1959. Together they have three children; Hazel Joy born in August 24, 1954, Berry IV born in October 1955 and Terry James born in October 1956. Hazel joy had been married to Jermaine Jackson.

In 1960 during spring, he married his second wife Raynoma Mayberry Liles but they divorced in 1964. Their marriage resulted to the birth of one child; Kerry Gordy who was born in June 25, 1959. He got another daughter, Sherry, with Jeana Jackson in May 23 1960?

Gordy’s other son, Kennedy William was born on March 15, 1964 by his then-mistress, Margaret Norton. Kennedy would later become more popularly known as Motown musician Rockwell. He got his record deal without his father’s knowledge to avoid a case of nepotism.

He had an intimate relationship with Diana Ross, a Motown artist, from 1965 to 1970. Their relationship resulted into the birth of their daughter Rhonda Suzanne in August 14, 1971. Rhonda was raised by Robert Ellis Silberstein, her legal father under California family law.

Gordy’s last born is a son born to Nancy Leiviska and known as Stefan Kendal (born in September 3, 1975). He is a DJ, rapper, singer, songwriter, dancer and record producer who is best known by his stage name Redfoo. He is one member of the duo LMFAO with his nephew Skyler Gordy (stage name: Sky Blu). Sky Blu is the grandson of Gordy Jr. and Thelma Coleman through their son Berry IV and his wife, Valerie Robeson.

Berry Gordy Children | Berry Gordy Kids

Gordy III is a father of eight: Hazel Joy, Berry IV, Terry James, Kerry Gordy, Sherry, Kennedy William, Rhonda Suzanne, and Stefan Kendal. His publishing company, Jobete, was named after his three eldest children, Joy, Berry and Terry.

Berry Gordy Son | Berry Gordy IV

Gordy Jr.’s son, Berry Gordy IV is the father of Skyler Gordy also known as Sky Blu, a member of the LMFAO duo while his half-brother (Berry Gordy IV’s) Stefan Kendal Gordy is the other member of LMFAO duo. The two are famously known for their song ‘Party Rock Anthem’ released in 2011.

Berry Gordy and Diana Ross| Diana Ross Daughter

Gordy had an intimate relationship with Motown artist Diana Ross from 1965 to 1970. They had a daughter Rhonda suzanne, who was born in August 14, 1971. He once said that “I had this wonderful relationship that turned into a great love relationship, but I was more interested in making her the biggest star in the world.

Managing her career and developing her career was the greatest joy I had. “Diana’s former lover and the man credited with making her a superstar”. Berry  further says they are still the “best of friends”.

Berry Gordy Dead

As hoaxes spread majorly on deaths of celebrities are common on the Internet, the Motown Records founder has also been a victim of such a hoax. A post on Facebook alleged hat he had passed on (on Saturday, November 13, 2018) and it gained quite an amount of likes and condolences comments. He is alive and well as it has been confirmed its a hoax.

Berry Gordy Daughter Hazel Gordy | Daughter

Hazel Gordy is daughter to Berry Gordy and Thelma Coleman. She is an abhorred media personality and a former model. She is also notably recognised as the ex-wife of Jermaine Jackson, brother of Michael Jackson. Her marriage started to show cracks when she discovered her husband cheating with his mistress, Margaret Maldonado. They have a son together. Hazel tried to reconcile their relationship but eventually gave up and filled for divorce in 1988.

Rockwell Berry Gordy

Kennedy William Gordy who is known as Rockwell is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton who was by-then Gordy ‘s mistress. He was named Kennedy William after John F. Kennedy and William “Smokey” Robinson by his father.

Berry Gordy Sister

Ann Gordy Gaye, elder sister to Berry Gordy was an American businessman composer and songwriter. Ann became a record executive in the mid-to-late 1950s distributing records released on Checker and Gone Records before forming the Anna label with Billy Davis and her other sister Gwen Gordy Fuqua. She later became known as a songwriter for several hits including the Originals’ “Baby, I’m for Real”, and at least two songs on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album. She was the first wife of Marvin Gaye. Their turbulent marriage later served as an inspiration for Gaye’s album, Here, My Dear.

Berry Gordy Motown

Berry Gordly is the founder of Motown Records. This is an American record company which was founded as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959 and was incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960, in Detroit, Michigan. The name a portmanteau of motor and town, has also become a nickname of Detroit. This company has played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned record label that achieved significant crossover success.

Berry Gordy Net Worth

Gordy, founder of Motown Records has an estimated net worth of $345 million.

Berry Gordy Record Label

Motown Logo

Berry Gordy House | Berry Gordy Mansion | Berry Gordy Home

The star’s most known house was the Motown mansion in Detroit’s Boston Edison Historic District. It is called the Motown Mansion as Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown Records used to own it. The mansion was sold in the summer of 2017 (August) for $1.65 million. Gordy lived there, so did Diana Ross when they were together and he hosted many Motown stars at the home.

Berry Gordy mansion outlook

Berry Gordy Jr. Songs

Year
Song
Original
Co-writer with Gordy
1957
Reet Petite
Jackie Wilson
Tyran Carlo
1958
To be loved
Jackie Wilson
Gwen Gordy, Tyran Carlo
We have Love
Jackie Wilson
Tyran Carlo, George Gordy
It’s So Fine
LaVern Baker
Tyran Carlo
Lonely Teardrops
Jackie Wilson
Gwen Gordy
1959
Just for Your Love
The Falcons
Gwen Gordy, Tyran Carlo
Come to Me
Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson
That’s Why (I Love You So)
Jackie Wilson
Tyran Carlo
I’ll Be Satisfied
Jackie Wilson
Tyran Carlo
You Got What It Takes
Mary Johnson
Gwen Gordy, Tyran Carlo, Mary Johnson
1960
I Love the Way You Love
Mary Johnson
“Mikaljon” (Mike Ossman, Al Abrams, John O’Den)
All I Could Do Was Cry
Etta James
Gwen Gordy, Ryran Carlo
Ain’t Gonna Be That Way
Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson
All the love I Got
Mary Johnson
Brian Holland, Janie Bradford
(You’ve Got to) Move Two Mountains
Mary  Johnson
Happy Days
Mary Johnson
Tonic McKnight
Shop Around
The Miracles
Smokey Robinson

1961
Don’t Let Him Shop Around
Debbie Dean
Smokey Robinson, Loucye Gordy Wakefield
Broke Hearted
The Miracles
Smokey Robinson
I Don’t Want to Take a Chance
Mary Wells
William “Mickey” Stevenson
1962
Dream Come True
The Temptations
Do You Love Me
The Miracles
Smokey Robinson
Let Me Go the Right Way
The Supreme
Shake Sherry
The Contours
1963
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
Mary Wells
Smokey Robinson
Don’t Let her be Your Baby
The contours
My Daddy Knows Best
The Marvelettes
1964
Try It Baby
Marvin Gayne
1967
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
Brenda Holloway
Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson
1969
I’m Livin’ in Shame
Diana Ross $ the Supremes
Pam Sawyer, R.Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Henry Cosby
I want You Back
The Jackson 5
The Corporation (Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, Fonce Mizell)
No Matter What Sign You Are
Diana Ross $The Supremes
Henry Cosby
I Want You Back
The Jackson 5
The Corporation (Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, Fonce Mizell)
1970
ABC
The Jackson 5
The Corporation
One More Chance
The Jackson 5
The Corporation
The Love You Save
The Jackson 5
The Corporation
I’ll Be There
The Jackson 5
Bob West, Hal Davis, Willie Hutch
Give Love on Christmas Day
The Jackson 5
Freddie Perren, Christine Perren, Fonce Mizell, Deke Richards
1971
Mama’s Pearl
The Jackson 5
The Corporation
Maybe Tomorrow
The Jackson 5
The Corporation
Sugar Daddy
The Jackson 5
The Corporation
1972
(We’ve Got a) Good Thing Going
Michael Jackson
The Corporation
1973
Get It Together
The Jackson 5
Hal Davis, Don Fletcher, Jerry Marcellino, Mel Larson
1980
Power
The Temptations Angelo Bond
Jean Mayer
1997
All I Want
702
The Corporation, Charles Farrar, Troy Taylor

Berry Gordy Book – To Be Loved

This is an autobiography by the founder of Motown Records in which he humorously with frankness narrates a touching insight into his incredible life and times.

Published: October 1st 1994 by Warner Books (NY)
Original Title: To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown : An Autobiography
Edition Language: English
Other Editions (4): latest being in May 3rd 2013 (eBook)

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