(WUSA) -- Motown founder and recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. turns 83 years old on Wednesday. If you're an LMFAO fan, you might also know that Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy) and SkyBlu (Skyler Austen Gordy) are his son and grandson.
Gordy was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1929. He served in the Army, became a boxer and worked as record-store manager before establishing himself as a songwriter and producer in Detroit. He hit a songwriting milestone in 1957, when Brunswick Records bought a song he wrote called "Reet Petite" for singer Jackie Wilson.
In 1959, Gordy created Motown Records. With the money from a song he co-wrote called "Money (That's What I Want)," he bought a white frame house at 2648 West Grand Boulevard, which was called "Hitsville USA."
According to his biography on Rockhall.com, "As a young black man working in often inhospitable times, Gordy endeavored to reach across the racial divide with music that could touch all people, regardless of the color of their skin."
Hundreds of hit singles by artists such as The Miracles, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, and Martha and the Vandellas, would emerge from Hitsville U.S.A. The music from Motown would impact and delight people from all walks of life.
Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. That same year Gordy sold Motown Records to MCA and Boston Partners in 1988. After another purchase and merger of sorts, Motown is now part of Universal Music Group.