"Motown 60" special airs Sunday on CBS, saluting iconic record label with Smokey, Stevie, Diana and many more

"Motown 60" special airs Sunday on CBS, saluting iconic record label with Smokey, Stevie, Diana and many more

"Motown 60" special airs Sunday on CBS, saluting iconic record label with Smokey, Stevie, Diana and many more

April 19, 2019 4:00 PM

CBS/The Recording Academy/AEG Ehrlich VenturesOn Sunday at 8 p.m., CBS will air Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration, saluting six decades of the iconic record label. The special features Motown legends like Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder, as well as performances and appearances by contemporary artists like John Legend, Jennifer Lopez and Boyz II Men.

Smokey, who co-hosts the show with Cedric the Entertainer, tells ABC Radio that he believes Motown music will continue to endure, far beyond these first 60 years.

"There are kids who haven't even been born who are gonna hear it," he notes. "[I]t's a beautiful thing."

Meanwhile, Motown 60's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, says the program was able to "bring yesterday and today together," while delivering a "21st century interpretation of some of the great moments of Motown."

"We were fortunate in having Stevie...Smokey...Diana and Thelma Houston and a few of the other artists that date back to the really amazing early days of Motown," he tells ABC Radio. "And then, John Legend does a pretty amazing Marvin Gaye, and Ciara did a medley of more current Motown hits, and Ne-Yo the same way."

Among the special's many highlights was an "In Memoriam" segment with Wonder singing "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer."

"It's pretty emotional and pretty evocative," says Ehrlich.

The program also includes a star-studded "Women of Motown" tribute and a pre-taped segment featuring some legendary Motown songwriters -- Robinson, Valerie Simpson, Mickey Stevenson and the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland -- sitting around a piano and reminiscing about their days at the label.

Enjoying the show from the audience: Motown's 89-year-old founder, Berry Gordy.

"He was just having a ball, he loved it," says Ehrlich. "We really appreciated his lending us the Motown legacy for a night."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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