In Memoriam: Esther Gordy Edwards

Esther Gordy Edwards

1920 – 2011

It has been a tough week in music. Esther Gordy Edwards, sister of Berry Gordy and key executive of Mowtown Records, passed away Wednesday at the age of 91. The Detroit Free Press has a lovely collection of memories of her, but I really liked what Stevie Wonder had to say:

“I’m taken back by the loss of Esther Gordy Edwards. She meant so much to me as a human being—she embodied the idea of never giving up. She was ever determined in everything she did, she was full of energy and her spirit will continue live on. She loved the idea of what we were creating in Motown.

“She believed in me—when I was 14 years old and many other people didn’t or could only see what they could at the time, she championed me being in Motown. I shared with her many of my songs first before anyone else. She was like another mother to me, she was an extension of that same kind of motherly love.

“I’m in Washington, D.C., right now celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King and Esther, who was also a friend of Coretta Scott King, without question will be celebrated here this week and weekend, and her spirit will continue live on.

“When we lose someone, we often think ‘they don’t make people like this anymore.’ It is my hope that younger generations and the world will know of her spirit and her pride in world culture.”

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