By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Marian Anderson Award honors individuals who use their talent to change the world. Last night—for its 15th anniversary—the Award was presented to Motown founder Berry Gordy.
It was an all star-tribute that included performances by Boyz II Men and Kool in the Gang.
Berry Gordy, like Marian Anderson, broke ground in music by helping to create super stars like Diana Ross and Michael Jackson at a time when many doors were closed for African-Americans.
“I want to thank you for being the biggest influence in our life,” Producer Kenny Gamble said before the nearly sold out crowd.
“There would be no Gamble and Huff without Berry Gordy and Motown”
And Gordy reminisced about Motown going national, in part because of Philadelphia King-makers Georgie Woods and Dick Clark.
“I have so many great memories about this city,” says Gordy.
Other highlights include a celebration of Anderson Awards founder Governor Ed Rendell and an a capella tribute by Smokey Robinson.
Longtime Marian Anderson Board Chair Pamela Browner White officially handed the baton to the Board Chair Elect Nina Tinari, who will take over the Award in 2014.