The man who gave the world Motown will be recognized by the Songwriters Hall of Fame at its 44th annual induction and awards dinner, scheduled for June 13 in New York.
Chairman Jimmy Webb announced Tuesday that Berry Gordy will receive the Pioneer Award, established last year to pay tribute to the creator of an extensive body of work that has influenced generations of tunesmiths. Woody Guthrie was the inaugural honoree, making Gordy the first living recipient.
In a statement, Webb described Gordy as "an innovator and a visionary," and adding that he "pioneered a marketplace for African-American artistry and then he invited the world to enjoy it."
Gordy's legacy is also being celebrated in a new Broadway show, Motown the Musical, which began performances Monday in anticipation of an April 14 opening.
At the Hall of Fame ceremony, Berry will join previously announced honorees including Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and Foreigner's Mick Jones and Lou Gramm.