Motown Records is an American record label now owned by the Universal Music Group. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959. Its name, a portmanteau of motor and town, has become a nickname for Detroit, where the label was originally headquartered.
Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned label that achieved crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its subsidiary labels (including Tamla , the brand used outside the US) were the most successful proponents of the Motown sound, a style of soul music with a mainstream pop appeal. Motown was the most successful soul music label, with a net worth of $61 million. During the 1960s, Motown achieved 79 records in the top-ten of the Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 1969.
Following the events of the Detroit Riots of 1967, and the loss of key songwriting/production team Holland–Dozier–Holland that year over pay disputes, Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles, California and expanded into film and television production.
Motown was inducted into Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the Charles H. Wright Museum.