Motown Classics Are Inducted Into Grammy Hall of Fame

By Tristin Marshall

The Recording Academy has inducted three classic Motown singles into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“Fight The Power” by Public Enemy (1989), “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops (1965), and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Gladys Knight and the Pips (1967) have all been inducted into the Hall of Fame less than two weeks before the 60th annual Grammy awards show. All three songs have been playing and sampled for decades, played an integral role in Motown’s history as well as the culture of Black music.

One of Public Enemy’s most widely known songs and perhaps one of the greatest songs of all time, “Fight the Power” was recorded for the 1989 Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing, both the film and the song filled with messages of Black pride and equality. The song was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1989.

The Four Tops encapsulated the spirt of Motown during the 1950s and 1960s, and continued to carry the legacy for decades. “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” became the group’s first No. 1 song in 1965. They spent 49 years together as a group, an accolade nearly unheard of in music. In 2009, the Four Tops were presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although re-recorded several times, the original version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Gladys Knight and the Pips became their biggest hit at Motown. The group won two Grammy awards for the singles “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)” and “Midnight Train to Georgia” in 1973.

Located at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, the 45-year-old hall of fame now has 1,063 recordings on display.

The Grammys will broadcast on Sunday, January 28 on CBS. 

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