Happy Birthday, Motown! 9 Of The Iconic Label's Biggest Hits
Motown has undeniably changed American music, so we're celebrating the label's 60th birthday with a roundup of its biggest songs.
Launched in 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr., Motown has become one of American music’s most storied labels.
The label has been behind the careers of some of music’s biggest icons, including Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye.
Today, the label celebrates its 60th birthday, so we’ve rounded up a few of the labels most memorable songs.
In no particular order, here are 9 of Motown’s biggest tracks.
1. Mary Wells – “My Guy”
Signed during the early days of Motown, Wells teamed up with singer Smokey Robinson for a number of incredible hits. “My Guy” was a crossover hit, charting on Billboard’s Hot 100 and jumping across the pond to peak at Number 5 on the U.K. chart.
2. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On”
It’s nearly impossible to pick just one Marvin Gaye song from his string of hits with the label, but “What’s Going On” has an enduring message that’s relevant to this day.
3. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
A classic duet, Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was a Top 20 hit and in, 1999, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
4. Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
There may not be a person on the planet who doesn’t know Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Released in 1972, the song has been covered by the likes of Raven-Symoné and British reggae band UB40.
5. Martha & The Vandellas – “Dancing in the Street”
The title of the track alone is enough to make you want to get up and dance. “Dancing in the Street” peaked at Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100 and is the group’s biggest hit.
6. The Temptations – “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”
To be honest, this may be one of the most iconic songs about how triflin’ men can be.
7. The Marvelettes – “Please Mr. Postman”
The group’s debut single, “Please Mr. Postman,” was the first Motown hit to reach Number One on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also included in Ava Duvernay’s August 28: A Day in the Life of a People for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
8. The Temptations – “My Girl”
The Temptations make the list once again with their iconic hit “My Girl.” The group’s first U.S. number one single, “My Girl,” has been covered by the likes of Otis Redding, Sauve, and The Whispers.
9. The Supremes – “Baby Love”
Nominated for a Grammy in 1965, “Baby Love” is one of the group’s most popular songs. The song reached number one on U.S. and U.K. charts.