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Temptations, Four Tops on hand as CEO shares what's going on with Motown Museum's expansion plans

Otis Williams, a vocalist with The Temptations, talks with Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry in Detroit, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/AP
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AP
Otis Williams, a vocalist with The Temptations, talks with Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry in Detroit, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Full construction on the final phase of the Motown Museum’s expansion will get underway in the spring of 2024, the museum’s CEO announced Wednesday night.

Robin Terry also said that fundraising for the expansion has reached $59 million, “nearing our goal of $65 million.”

“Although we are not done, we will get it done,” Terry, who also serves as the museum’s chair, said during a private donor event that honored Motown legends the Four Tops and The Temptations.

Otis Williams, a 60-plus-year member of The Temptations, was honored at the event. Earlier in the day, he fielded questions from a group of aspiring performers at the museum.

The historic section of the city where Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. built his music empire six decades ago has undergone a facelift in recent years with the addition of an educational programming and creative hub as well as an outdoor plaza that serves as a gathering space. The museum continues to be housed in the famed “Hitsville, U.S.A” building at 2648 West Grand Boulevard.

Terry, Gordy’s grand-niece, also announced two exhibits that will be coming to the museum.

One called “The Motown Atmosphere,” will be an immersive room featuring classic Motown images that showcase the record label’s family environment. The second, “The Backstage Lounge,” will allow visitors to search the Motown catalog and discover music and access interviews with Motown alumni, like Williams.

“There will never, ever be another recording company like Motown Records,” he said.

Gordy launched Motown in 1959. His late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum in the former Hitsville headquarters in 1985. In addition to the Four Tops and The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and many others recorded hits there before Motown moved to California in 1972.