BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: Berry Gordy speaks onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Motown founder Berry Gordy has been tapped to be a Kennedy Center honoree. He’s one of five honorees to be recognized in December for his work arts and culture.

The 2021 class also includes opera singer Justino Díaz, “Saturday Night Live” founder Lorne Michaels, musician and actress Bette Midler and musician Joni Mitchell.

Gordy, 91, has already been honored by the Grammys, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and scored the National Medal of Arts for his work with Motown.

“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates luminaries whose art and creativity have enriched us beyond measure,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a release. “Visionary music producer and songwriter Berry Gordy brought the quintessential soulfulness of Detroit into every home in America , elevating the Motown sound to become a national treasure.”

“This year’s Honorees represent the unifying power of the Arts and surely remind us of that which binds us together as human beings. These artists are equal parts genius, inspiration, and entertainment,” Kennedy Center president Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement.

He added, “After the challenges and heartbreak of the last many months, and as we celebrate 50 years of the Kennedy Center, I dare add that we are prepared to throw ‘the party to end all parties’ in D.C. on December 5th, feting these extraordinary people and welcoming audiences back to our campus. We look forward to shaping an even more exciting Honors program and broadcast with CBS and the producers based on the success and newfound innovations of our 43rd Honors earlier this year.”

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!