Berry Gordy is an 88-year-old director, producer and entrepreneur who is widely recognized for founding his own record label, ‘Motown Records’. Motown has developed many successful artists in the 60s and the 70s. For decades, it has maintained its position as the highest-earning music company under black ownership. Now let’s have a close look on Berry Gordy’s net worth in 2019.
Berry Gordy III or Berry Gordy Jr. was born in Detroit in the year 1929. He lived among eight siblings and was the 7th children of a middle-class family. He was not great at academics from the get-go and had a flair for songwriting from the very beginning. However, the high school music class that he was a part of eventually threw him out. That led Gordy to quit school altogether and pursue a career in boxing.
His boxing career was short, yet stunning. Out of the 19 professional fights that he contested in, Gordy won 13. But, his interest in boxing eventually wavered. He wanted to pursue songwriting but joined the U.S. Army in 1951 instead. He served for 2 years during the Korean War and later came back to Detroit to chase a career in music.
After returning from his service to the U.S. army, Berry Gordy took the first steps towards starting his music career. He used his savings to open a record store that went by the name ‘Three-D Record Mart’ in Detroit. The store failed financially which propelled Gordy to work on the assembly line at the Lincoln-Mercury plant. However, the job failed to catch his interest, and he often ends up making songs in his head.
He gave another shot to a career in music when he was 27 years old. His family connections helped him advance his career by co-writing the popular Jackie Wilson song, “Reet Petite”. After that, Gordy continued to write more songs for Wilson. “To Be Loved” and “Lonely Teardrops” are also on that list.
Gordy moved forward by establishing his own publishing company that went by the name ‘Jobete’. However, it didn’t catch as much success as Berry Gordy was striving for. That further lead him to finally open Motown Records.
Motown Records finally came into existence in the month of April of the year 1949. Ever since its inception, Motown turned to be a profitable endeavour for Gordy. The record label signed a plethora of sensational artists. To name a few, The Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Contours, Jimmy Ruffin, The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, and many more artists worked with Motown Records.
In the year 1988, Gordy sold his interest in his record label to MCA and Boston Ventures. The sale was made for $61 Million.
Awards & Achievements
His first big achievement came in the year 1988 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Later in the year 1998, Gordy went on to be inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame. In 2013, Berry Gordy became the first person to win the Songwriters Hall of Fame ’s Pioneer Award. Gordy received yet another huge honour in 2016. President Obama bestowed the National Medal of Arts on him and other cultural icons.
Gordy has also won the Grammy Trustees Award, the American Music Award of Merit, Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, and the BET honours Entrepreneur Award.
Net Worth of Berry Gordy
Berry Gordy’s enormous net worth of $345 Million is mostly attributed to the success of Motown Records. He went from being a professional boxer to serving in the U.S. army to finally establish a career in music. Other than working with his record label, he has also earned his buck by writing songs. He also published an autobiography in the year 1994. It was titled, ‘To Be Loved’.
Berry Gordy is not only a successful entrepreneur, but he is a well respected one. His record label developed many artists who went on to do great work.
Even though he eventually sold Motown Records, his legacy still lives on!