DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit roadway has been renamed for Motown legend Stevie Wonder. The award-winning singer and songwriter attended a Wednesday ceremony to honor him, alongside hundreds of people including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Rep. John Conyers.
Applause broke out when the sign for “Stevie Wonder Ave” was unveiled along Milwaukee Avenue, two blocks from the site of Wonder’s first home in the city.
Wonder moved to Detroit from Saginaw, Michigan as a child and signed with Motown Records when he was only 11 years-old. His first recordings were done under the moniker “Little Stevie Wonder.”
NEW YORK — Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer whose hits include What Becomes of the Brokenhearted and Hold on to My Love, died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78.
Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr., the late singer’s children, confirmed Wednesday that Ruffin had died. There were no details about the cause of death.
Ruffin was the older brother of Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, who died in 1991 at age 50.
Jimmy Lee Ruffin was born on May 7, 1936, in Collinsville, Miss. He was signed to Berry Gordy‘s Motown Records and had a string of hits in the 1960s, including What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, which was a Top 10 pop hit. He had his second Top 10 hit, Hold on to My Love, in 1980.
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PHILAPELPHIA – A star-studded gala took place last night in Philadelphia to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. The legendary record producer and songwriter is recipient of the 2013 Marian Anderson Award, which pays homage to critically acclaimed artists who have made a significant impact. Tuesday night’s gala dinner and award presentation at the Kimmel Center was hosted by comedian-actor Chris Tucker. It featured performances by Boyz II Men, Kool and the Gang as well as Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, who stars as Gordy in “Motown The Musical.”
R&B icon Smokey Robinson presented a tribute, along with “Philly Sound” songwriting and producing pioneers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Gordy, a high-school dropout who had a short professional boxing career, started Motown Records in Detroit in 1959. The record company is credited for opening doors for African-American performing artists, launching the careers of everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Diana Ross & the Supremes. “This year we will be honoring an individual who created a new genre of American music that is beloved around the world, by young and old, black and white,” said Award chair Pamela Browner White.