Motown Records founder and chairman Berry Gordy, Jr. and multi-Grammy award winning producer James “Jimmy Jam” Harris are set to be honored by Universal/Motown Records, EMI and CONTENT at the Chairmens Luncheon in Los Angeles today (Feb 8).
Gordy and Jimmy Jam, the newly appointed chairman of the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) which produces The Grammy Awards, will be joined by a whos who of industry heavyweights, as they are recognized for their contributions to the music industry and entertainment business.
Confirmed guests for the private event include Mary J. Blige, Island Def Jam Music Group Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid, former Motown executive and Emmy Award-winning producer Suzanne dePasse, and current Motown Records president Sylvia Rhone.
The event is being hosted by CONTENT, a group of entertainment industry executives, managers and agents, which includes members like manager Benny Medina, Island Def Jam senior VP of A&R Shakir Stewart, producer Kendu Isaacs and numerous others.
Gordy founded Motown Records in 1959, becoming the first African American to own a record label. He has played a great role in the development of urban music, having discovered and signed such acts as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5.
The legendary labels film branch, Motown Productions is also responsible for such movies as Mahogany, The Wiz and Berry Gordys The Last Dragon.
In 1988, Gordy sold his ownership of Motown to MCA for a reported $61 million. Over the years, Motown has served as the label home of numerous artists like Queen Latifah, Brian McKnight, Johnny Gill, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, Swizz Beats, Damian Marley, Nick Cannon, and Lindsey Lohan.
Harris is known for his legendary body of production work amassed with longtime partner Terry Lewis.
The duo produced Janet Jacksons breakout 1986 album Control and Jacksons 1989 album Rhythm Nation 1814.
In addition, the production duo has crafted number one singles for Boyz II Men, New Edition, Gladys Knight, Ralph Tresvant, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, and even Jessica Simpson.