Top 90 Motown Quotes

Words matter. These are the best Motown Quotes from famous people such as Smokey Robinson, Taron Egerton, Berry Gordy, Katy B, Nickolas Ashford, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.

Once you're a Motown artist, that's your stigmatism, an

Once you’re a Motown artist, that’s your stigmatism, and I was there from the very first day.
Smokey Robinson
I love funk and soul and Motown.
Taron Egerton
I’ve discovered that Motown and Broadway have a lot in common – a family of wonderfully talented, passionate, hardworking young people, fiercely competitive but also full of love and appreciation for the work, for each other and for the people in the audience.
Berry Gordy
My dad was a soul fan and a singer himself, and he loved vocal harmony, stuff like the Beach Boys and Motown like the Four Tops, which was a big influence on me.
Katy B
We call ‘Ain’t No Mountain’ the golden egg that landed us at Motown.
Nickolas Ashford
I’ve purposely made my music to be challenging and different. There’s some electronics, R&B, blues, Motown, country, jazz and lots of soul.
Jack Garratt
When I first got to Motown, Smokey was already a fixture there. To me, he is one of the greatest songwriters and poets, so anything they ask me to do for Smokey is going to get a yes.
Dennis Edwards
I love to sing old Motown songs to myself, or some Patti Smith Edith Piaf or Billie Holiday. That gets me in the mood for singing.
Siobhan Fahey
I just love how everyone with that Motown sound seemed to come from a two-block radius from the actual original location. The original location was a house, and then when they outgrew it, they bought the house next door and the house next door and the house next door until they had seven houses on the same lot.
BJ the Chicago Kid
I was never really that interested in the punk movement. I was a blues guy: I liked Motown, James Brown.
Gary Oldman
I grew up listening to oldies, like Motown. That’s from my mom.
Ryan Lochte
The same reason why we’re doing music is the same reason why Motown did: to make the world a better place and to make people happy. The main message is, just have a good time.
Redfoo
My father loved music. He loved Motown and R&B, and my mother loved Journey and Fleetwood Mac, so they were always listening to it and playing it.
Andra Day
One of a handful of films made in Detroit, ‘8 Mile’ doesn’t feature the Motown renaissance that Mayor Coleman A. Young dreamed of in the 1970s. Instead, it’s the beaten-down city: 8 Mile refers to the line of demarcation between Detroit and suburban, mostly white Oakland County.
Elvis Mitchell
There were a lot of different styles in the house – Motown, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, jazz – and my dad played flamenco guitar. Soon I realized that bass was what was really grooving me.
Robert Trujillo
I was in about in the 8th grade when I started recording R&B, so much of what was on was the Motown sound, and The Beatles had pretty much come over and taken America by storm.
Betty Wright
I was in about in the 8th grade when I started recording R&B, so much of what was on was the Motown sound, and The Beatles had pretty much come over and taken America by storm.
Betty Wright
My listening changed when I heard music from Stax, Atlantic, Motown because by that age I thought anything that my parents listened to must be square. So I had to find my own rock n’ roll, as it were, and I found it in black soul music.
Robert Palmer
People still look at Michael Jackson as being a Motown artist.
Smokey Robinson
My mum used to listen to Motown. Diana Ross was my first singing teacher, really. I’d just sing along all the time.
Lisa Stansfield
The ‘Motown’ detour for me was almost like it wasn’t work. It was more fun than work, and that’s all it takes for me to not be very responsible to other things I should have been paying attention to.
Michael McDonald
Motown will always be a heavy-duty part of my life because those are my roots.
Smokey Robinson
I think that there is such power with the live performance of it – so much of what ‘Motown’ is about is the live performance aspect, really. The power of our production is really the music and the performances.
Brandon Victor Dixon
Growing up, I liked all the stuff that everyone else was listening to, like Motown, but the biggest group of all was The Beatles.
Eddie Murphy
I love to sing old Motown songs to myself, or some Patti Smith Edith Piaf or Billie Holiday. That gets me in the mood for singing.
Siobhan Fahey
When we did a lot of that Motown stuff there were four of us on the front line. When we started the evening we’d start from one end of the band and just go along. The lead singer would change all the time. That’s the first time that I actually managed to put it into a record.
Roy Wood
Charles and I are from Augusta, Ga. – so we come from James Brown territory, soul music and Motown. And Charles has always had a lot of Southern rock in there as well.
Dave Haywood
I don’t ever balk at being considered a Motown person, because Motown is the greatest musical event that ever happened in the history of music.
Smokey Robinson
I think it’s all about the music you listen to along the way. For me, my parents always played Motown music and The Beatles, so I was drawn to the soul.
Bishop Briggs
When I was starting my journey as a young guitar player, I was listening to The Beatles, the Stones, and all the British invasion bands, Top 40, Motown, and all the great music of the ’60s. Then the alien ship landed, and life changed again forever… Jimi Hendrix.
Steve Lukather
I thought wasn’t nobody supposed to get gold records except those people on Motown, like Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross.
Wilson Pickett
One of my idols is my dad. All his work in Motown, and

One of my idols is my dad. All his work in Motown, and just the way he conducted himself as a human being was always interesting to me, and it seemed like the successful way, and it is a successful way, and I always wanted to do that. He’s funny, and all that stuff.
Redfoo
Growing up, I was listening to a ton of Motown music, Otis Redding, Aretha, and then there was the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin. These were all people that I felt as though they truly felt every single lyric they said, and they weren’t afraid of imperfection.
Bishop Briggs
Once you’re a Motown artist, you’re always a Motown artist.
Smokey Robinson
I loved Motown. I loved the musicality and the sound.
Jeff Beck
As a kid, looking at Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, New Edition, the Temptations, Motown, people who I felt were huge artists, they made me wanna do something.
Usher
I went from elementary school to proper training, operatic training, and I went on to the Motown University and learned a lot of things from some wonderful people.
Martha Reeves
I grew up when the whole Motown thing was huge. The charts in those days were dominated by groups more than solo artists at one point.
Simon Cowell
I grew up listening to a lot of classic jazz, and stuff like The Beatles, and old Motown stuff, and a lot of classical music. I just loved all of that.
Alison Sudol
Growing up in Hitchin was comfortable and easy enough. My parents had some great records – and some not-so-great ones – and that’s where I got introduced to Motown and the Stones and Springsteen.
James Bay
The biggest thing Motown did was change our social fabric: the way we interacted with each other as human beings.
Brandon Victor Dixon
I know that’s blasphemous when you are from Detroit, but I was never a fan of Motown stuff. I don’t care for the production much.
Jack White
Motown wasn’t just pioneering a sound but a cultural dynamic.
Suzanne de Passe
Growing up, I never listened to English music. I was more into Motown, as well as early rock n’ roll like Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
Alex Winston
I think there’s a void for some authentic soul music with an edge. I think there’s some people who grew up with Motown and Stevie Wonder that still can appreciate Future, Drake, and all these different things, too, but there shouldn’t be a void for those people, as well.
Anderson Paak
I listened to everything. To the early Motown groups – the Four Tops and the Temptations – to Johnny Mathis, Gloria Lynne – my sisters loved her. Sarah Vaughan. Everything.
Jeffrey Osborne
Well, I had an after hours club in Vancouver and when any of the Motown acts would call.
Tommy Chong
I have very eclectic tastes. I love soul and Motown; I listen to some rap – Stormzy, Tinie Tempah, Drake. I also love classical music, American country and the folk tradition. I often start the day with gospel on my way to work. The only thing I have never got into is punk.
David Lammy
I honed in on a great time, the Motown era, the ’60s and ’70s. That type of music has always been a staple in my life.
Raphael Saadiq
I listened to a lot of Marvin Gaye and Motown records.
Charlie Puth
Marvin Gaye is an inspiration to me. He was one of the first Motown musicians that my mom and dad introduced me to, and I always thought it would be a good idea if I was ever an artist, and now I am, to make a record called ‘Marvin Gaye.’
Charlie Puth
I grew up listening to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and lots of blues, R&B and Motown.
L’Wren Scott
All the best British groups were inspired by black American music. With The Beatles, it was Motown and the blues. With me, it was a mixture of British styles and the more sophisticated Seventies soul of Barry White and Marvin Gaye.
Mick Hucknall
Even before coming into the industry, I was a big fan of Motown, the Jackson 5, Gladys Knight, the Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes.
Stephanie Mills
My favorite period is when we lived in the land of the three-minute song. The Motown thing – I thought they were genius in knowing that’s as much as a listener can take.
Meshell Ndegeocello
My mom taught me every dance move I’ve ever known to the Motown hits.
Hannah Bronfman
We call ‘Ain’t No Mountain’ the golden egg that landed us at Motown.
Nickolas Ashford
I just love how everyone with that Motown sound seemed to come from a two-block radius from the actual original location. The original location was a house, and then when they outgrew it, they bought the house next door and the house next door and the house next door until they had seven houses on the same lot.
BJ the Chicago Kid
Growing up, I listened and was influenced by a lot of those around me. I have a big family, and my dad listened to ’80s music, my mom listened to Motown, my brother listened to reggae, and my granddad was the one that got me into jazz and swing music.
Ella Henderson
Growing up, I was listening to a ton of Motown music, Otis Redding, Aretha, and then there was the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin. These were all people that I felt as though they truly felt every single lyric they said, and they weren’t afraid of imperfection.
Bishop Briggs
Definitely just growing up in general influenced me; Detroit happened to be where I was. I feel like the city definitely has made an impact on my life and made me who I am. Detroit has an unmistakable soul – nobody can duplicate the soul we bring to the game. From Motown to J Dilla to Eminem to anything.
Big Sean
Sometimes you’re inspired by an old-school song that you want to chop up and make a sample out of it. I find that with a lot of older Motown music.
Bishop Briggs
'Head Over Boots' is a shuffle, but it's more of a Moto

‘Head Over Boots’ is a shuffle, but it’s more of a Motown laid-back shuffle than, say, a Dwight Yoakam shuffle.
Jon Pardi
And for some reason, when I’m sad, I do listen to Leonard Cohen, I do listen to Joni Mitchell. I do find myself going to the music that’s actually reflecting my mood, as opposed to sticking on Motown, which might actually bring my mood up.
Glen Hansard
When we did a lot of that Motown stuff there were four of us on the front line. When we started the evening we’d start from one end of the band and just go along. The lead singer would change all the time. That’s the first time that I actually managed to put it into a record.
Roy Wood
Motown will always be a heavy-duty part of my life because those are my roots.
Smokey Robinson
Kelly Clarkson definitely reminds me of Motown. She’s pop, but she’s also very, very soulful.
La’Porsha Renae
Motown was pop, Atlantic was R&B.
Wilson Pickett
I listen to a lot of oldies stuff. Some Motown, Michael Jackson, jazz, etc.
Jaime Harrison
My dad liked a lot of Motown, but I didn’t listen to it until my teenage years.
John Legend
At an early age I was listening to BB King, what have you. Ray Charles, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Mcgriff, you dig? With the obvious Marvin Gayes and the Motown records.
Pimp C
The Great Migration changed American history not just for the migrants but for all of us. It made possible American cultural milestones like the Harlem Renaissance, Chicago blues, and Motown, just to name a few.
William Barr
I love Motown, that whole era. Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson. I just put on Pandora, and put it on Motown, and it makes me smile; makes me smile so much.
Tika Sumpter
I grew up not far from where Motown was founded, maybe 300 miles from Detroit and I’ve always liked – I used to like the way they made records. I still do, I just haven’t had a chance to hear as much. They used to entertain me.
Rick Danko
Everyone you talk to in the world, whether they know it or not, because the catalog is so vast, a lot of times people have favorite songs that are Motown songs that they didn’t even know were Motown songs.
Brandon Victor Dixon
My introduction to Motown was through The Jackson Five and Michael Jackson. Michael’s been my greatest creative inspiration, so that’s how I really became familiar with Motown as a whole, and as I got older, I learned far more about the other groups.
Brandon Victor Dixon
‘Let’s Get It On’ is a classic Motown single, endlessly repeatable and always enjoyable.
Jon Landau
I left Motown because of the regime of people who were there.
Smokey Robinson
When I was a kid in the mid-’60s, I was what’s known as a moddie boy, a prototype skinhead. You all had your hair like a crew cut, cropped, with suits or Levis with red suspenders, sometimes Doc Martens. It was a thriving soul music, Motown and ska scene; we used to dance to Prince Buster and the Skatalites.
Graham Parker
My favorite record label of all time is Motown. That era of music was my favorite.
Kanye West
Growing up, I liked all the stuff that everyone else was listening to, like Motown, but the biggest group of all was The Beatles.
Eddie Murphy
I grew up listening to oldies, like Motown. That’s from my mom.
Ryan Lochte
My music diet growing up was lots of sugar. Lots of retro-pop sugar. Motown, disco. A lot of English rock, like the Turtles, the Zombies, Bowie and stuff like that.
Borns
I grew up with Cher and Motown, beautiful costumes.
Tina Knowles
When I first got to Motown, Smokey was already a fixture there. To me, he is one of the greatest songwriters and poets, so anything they ask me to do for Smokey is going to get a yes.
Dennis Edwards
One thing I can say about the Motown acts is that we were a family. That’s not a myth.
Smokey Robinson
There were many stars in Motown’s firmament – among them, Stevie, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and Diana Ross – but I happen to have loved the Four Tops most of all.
Jon Landau
I knew I wanted to do music at eight years of age. I listened to a lot of Motown growing up, and it got to the point where I started mimicking people – Michael Jackson or whoever. People started to notice I could hold a tone. The bug was always there.
Conrad Sewell
Growing up, I never listened to English music. I was more into Motown, as well as early rock n’ roll like Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
Alex Winston
I think there’s a void for some authentic soul music with an edge. I think there’s some people who grew up with Motown and Stevie Wonder that still can appreciate Future, Drake, and all these different things, too, but there shouldn’t be a void for those people, as well.
Anderson Paak