Berry Gordy Net Worth
Berry Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the American record label currently owned by the Universal Music Group. He is a musician, music composer, film producer and music producer. Berry Gordy net worth is estimated at $400 million.
Now that you have known the net worth of Berry Gordy, we will take you through other aspects of his life including his humble beginnings, family, Marriage, career, his rise to fame, and everything else leading to how he happened to amass his wealth.
Berry Gordy Biography
Berry Gordy III (professionally known as Berry Gordy Jr.) was born on November 28, 1929 in Detroit, as the seventh of eight children belonging to the family of Berry Gordon II.
Berry Gordy is a record executive, a film producer, record producer, television producer and song writer. He is most recognized for being the founder of the record label, Motown, and its subsidiaries, which reigned many years.
Berry Gordy was not the first business-oriented person in the family. His parents worked for themselves. His mother was an insurance agent while his father worked as a plastering contractor.
As a child, he had interests in music, and won a talent contest with his song Berry’s Boogie. Berry didn’t receive enough formal musical training. During his junior year, he dropped out of Northeastern High School to pursue a boxing career.
Berry Gordy Career
Berry Gordy dropped out of high school so as to engage actively in boxing. He fought fifteen matches winning twelve, between 1948 and 1951. However, his boxing career was cut short when he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.
At the end of his service in 1953, Gordy returned to Detroit with the money he had saved from his payment in the military, and opened a record store known as the Three-D Record Mart. His love of Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, and Thelonius Monk’s jazz influenced his works, as records he tried to sell much more than his customers requested and his business soon failed.
He worked for his father for a while and then on an line of assembly at the Ford Motor Company. Berry wasn’t truly interested at the company, and wrote songs in his head while he worked. Some of his songs were then later recorded by local singers. Decca Records bought some of the songs he made, including Lonely Teardrops, and Reet Petite, and when he compared the sum of money he made for writing songs to what the record company he sells to made from the minor hits, Gordy realized that writing the songs wasn’t enough. He needed to own them.
Following his friend’s suggestion, Berry Gordy borrowed $700 from his father and opened his own company which he called Motown Records. The headquarters of Gordy’s company was in a Detroit apartment where he slept on the second floor and made music on the first. Eventually, his company grew bigger, opening branches in various parts of the city.
In 1960 Motown released the hit Shop Around, which sold more than a million copies, opening Gordy’s record company to the most influential and successful era in popular music history.
The company made more than 110 number-one hit songs and a lot of top-ten records, including My Girl, Reach Out, I’ll be There, My Guy, Stop, Heard it Through the Grapevine, Please Mr. Postman, In the Name of Love, For Once in My Life, Dancing in the Streets, Baby Love, Where did Our Love Go, Your Precious Love, I’ll Be There, I want You Back and I Hear a Symphony.
Berry Gordy, through his music record brought an impressive list of artists into the spotlight, including the likes of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Tammi Terrell, Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.
In June 1988 when Gordy felt he had had enough, he sold his company to MCA, Inc. Although he still kept control of Jobete, the music publishing operation, and Motown’s film division, but he sold his record company for $61 million. Upon enquiry, be told the newspaper Daily Variety he wanted to ensure that the history of his record company, Motown, remained alive.
Berry Gordy’s talents as a singer, songwriter and business-minded person, and also his huge contribution to pop music were recognized in the year 2001, when he had his induction into the Independent Music Hall of Fame.
Berry Gordy Marriage, Wife, Children and Relationships
Berry Gordy has been married thrice. He has also been divorced thrice. In 1953 on his return from military service, he married Thelma Coleman whom he divorced after six years. In 1960, he married for the second time, this time, to Raynoma Mayberry Liles but they divorced after four years. He also got married to Grace Eaton in 1990 and divorced in 1993.
Between 1965 – 1970, Berry Gordy had an intimate relationship with Diana Ross who was a Motown artist. Their relationship produced a child. He also had relationships with Jeana Jackson and Margaret Norton and these also produced children.
Berry Gordy is the father of eight children including the following:
- Hazel Joy Gordy
- Berry IV Gordy (SkyBlu of LMFAO)
- Terry James Gordy
- Kerry Gordy
- Sherry Gordy
- Kennedy William
- Rhonda Suzanne
- Stefan Kendal (RedFoo of LMAO)
In the year 2001, Berry Gordon had his induction into the Independent Music Hall of Fame.
In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts.
In June 2013, he received the Songwriters Hall of Fame ‘s Pioneer Award, Making him the first living being to receive the honor.
Berry Gordy Net Worth — Conclusion
As a musician, song writer, song producer and the founder of the Motown record label, Berry Gordy net worth is a well deserved $400 million. “Well deserved” because he never gave up. Following the failure of his first ever company, one would have thought he would give up and probably engage in something else. But that wasn’t the case, as this man strived on to accomplish all that he has done.
Berry Gordy is credited for bringing an impressive list of artists, comprising of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Tammi Terrell, Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, the Vandellas and a few other names into the limelight of the Music Industry.
He really did well in his life-long career until his retirement in 2019 at age 89, after being in the industry for 66 active years. He will be best remembered for his record company, Motown Records, which was the highest-earning African-American business for many decades.