Family means the world to Motown founder Berry Gordy! For more than six decades, he helped some of the biggest artists launch their careers under his successful label, all while balancing fatherhood. The Kennedy Center Honors recipient is a dad to eight children and several talented grandchildren, whom he has stepped out with for rare appearances over the years.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee first became a dad in 1954 when he welcomed his eldest daughter, Hazel Joy Gordy, with then-wife Thelma Coleman. The pair welcomed two more children together, Berry Gordy IV and Terry James Gordy, during their marriage. The couple split in 1959, just as Berry’s career was taking off with the help of longtime friend and collaborator Smokey Robinson.
“Motown was like a fairy tale that happened to have come true,” the record producer told Billboard in June 2017. … “It allowed people to experiment creatively and gave them the courage not to be afraid to make mistakes. And it was the process that we loved, the togetherness, the camaraderie and the honest competition. That helped keep everyone energized, and all that was topped by the love and respect we had for each other — and the fun. At Motown we always had fun.”
During his second marriage to singer Raynoma Singleton, from 1960 to 1964, the pair welcomed one son, Kerry Gordy. He also welcomed son Kennedy William Gordy in 1964 with Margaret Norton and daughter Sherry Gordy with Jeana Jackson in the early ‘60s.
After a long friendship with Motown artist Diana Ross, the pair’s connection later blossomed into a relationship. Their daughter, Rhonda Ross, was born in 1971. The music icon became a dad for the eighth time when he and producer Nancy Leiviska welcomed their son, Stefan Kendal “Redfoo” Gordy.
Rhonda and Redfoo both went on to establish music careers of their own after growing up with one of the most influential people in the music industry as their father. The “Party Rock Anthem” singer recalled spending time with music greats all throughout his childhood during a Rolling Stone interview in June 2015.
“I went to my dad’s party at his house, and all the people were at the afterparty,” he said. “The main person I remember was Michael Jackson: I was so tired, and he tucked me in. Everybody was hanging out and partying, and I just went to sleep. Him and my mom were right there, and they were just talking.”
Keep scrolling to see photos of Berry and his kids over the years.
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