Motown Records has been putting out hit-after-hit since the late 50s and even when the factories stopped running in Detroit, Barry Gordy still managed to break music records in nearly every category. However, in 1988, Gordy called it quits selling Motown to MCA, Polygram and then to Universal. Some say Motown’s last great artist was Marvin Gaye so the label isn’t a huge player on the music scene anymore.
Erykah Badu must share the same sentiments tweeting the historic record label had finally disbanded after pushing out music for nearly 6 decades. “Motown Folded,” Badu tweeted on Wednesday (June 8) and within hours Twitter filled with RIPS, obituaries and memorials until Billboard released a statement shutting down the rumors.
“Although [Motown] is undergoing restructuring in the wake of Sylvia Rhone’s departure last month, it is not folding. At the time of Rhone’s departure, UMG planned to begin interviewing candidates to replace her, although what title that person will get depends on the qualifications he or she brings to the job. With Barry Weiss serving as the chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group, it is not clear that the replacement will hold the title of president.”
Rhone stepped down from her post in late May validating Badu’s claims to her 300,000 followers even though it wasn’t true. Badu later recanted her statement saying, “There must have been a better verb I could have used, ‘folded’ seems a little …I don’t know, cowardly, huh? Honest mistake.”
Badu signed to Universal in 1997 when she released her multi-platinum debut Baduizm. Motown Records might be going through a slump, but it’s certainly alive and kicking.