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Motown is a record company founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation in Detroit, Michigan, USA, on April 14, 1960. The name, a portmanteau of motor and town, is also a nickname for Detroit. Now headquartered in New York City, Motown is a subsidiary of Universal Motown Republic Group, itself a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and now operates as Universal Motown. Motown Records was also the name of Gordy's second record label; the first, Tamla Records, began on January 12, 1959.

Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first record label owned by an African American to primarily feature African-American artists who achieved crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its soul-based subsidiaries were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as The Motown Sound, a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.

Motown has owned or distributed releases from more than 45 subsidiaries in varying genres, although it is most famous for its releases in the music genres of rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop, and pop. Motown Records left Detroit for Los Angeles in 1972, and remained an independent company until June 28, 1988, when Gordy sold the company to MCA and Boston Ventures (which took over full ownership of Motown in 1991), then to PolyGram in 1994.

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review by . April 14, 2010
posted in Music Matters
April 14, 2010......Motown Records celebrates its 50th Anniversary today!
A half century ago, a young Detroit entrepreneur named Berry Gordy Jr. decided that he was going to start his own record company.  His idea was a simple one really.  He was going to make records with black artists that appealed to the largest segment of the record buying public which in those days was suburban white teenagers.  Although the odds were clearly against this brash young upstart his formula worked to perfection.  So much so that 50 years later "The …
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