Michael Ochs Archives Bobby Rogers, a founding member of Motown group The…
- Posted on Feb 25th 2011 1:30PM by Brian Voerding
Saul Loeb, AFP / Getty Images
The event, also featured a number Motown hits and medleys performed by modern artists including Sheryl Crow, John Legend, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas and Seal.
"[Motown] taught us that what unites us will always be stronger than what divides us," said President Barack Obama, who introduced the event and at times during performances danced with his wife and daughter, Sasha. "And in the decades since, those catchy beats and simple chords have influenced generations of musicians."
Berry Gordy, who founded the record label that launched in 1960 and turned out countless hits in the ensuing decades, attended the performance. Also present were Martha Reeves -- the former Detroit city councilwoman better known to the Motown crowd as frontwoman of Martha and the Vandellas -- and a number of dignitaries and high-school students from both Detroit and across Michigan.
Performers launched through a number of classic Motown hits, including John Legend doing Marvin Gaye's 'Heard It Through the Grapevine,' former 'American Idol' winner Jordin Sparks taking on the Supremes' 'Stop! In the Name of Love' and Seal performing 'My Girl.'
Fittingly, it was Wonder and Robinson who took the event home. Robinson and Crow teamed up on his hit 'You Really Got a Hold on Me,' and Wonder ended the night with 'Dancing in the Street,' during which Reeves leapt on stage and took an extended solo on her former group's most famous song.
Feel like you missed out? The full performance will be broadcast on PBS stations nationwide on March 1 at 8PT ET.
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