Some famous Motown legends include Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy and Diana Ross. While both Robinson and Ross featured multiple hit records, Gordy, the label's founder, worked behind the scenes to grow Motown into one of the most successful recording labels in American history.
Berry Gordy founded Motown Records Company on Jan. 12, 1959, in Detroit, Michigan. He made Smokey Robinson and The Miracles the label's first signing. He also signed artists such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, Martha Reeves and the Vendellas, and The Temptations. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Smokey Robinson and his group, The Miracles, brought the record company its first million-dollar single, "Shop Around." Robinson wrote over 4,000 songs for himself and for other Motown artists, and he racked up 37 Top-40 hits during his career. He worked as a producer for acts such as Mary Wells and The Temptations.
Diana Ross performed as part of the Supremes, who signed with Motown in 1961, and then enjoyed a career as a solo artist starting in 1969. She helped the label achieve No. 1 hits such as "Baby Love," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Where Did Our Love Go?" and "Stop! In the Name of Love."