Esther Gordy-Edwards, a Motown legend who helped found Motown Records in Detroit and later the Motown Museum, died on Wednesday. She was 91.
Gordy-Edwards played a role in the lives and careers of Motown greats such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Four Tops, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
She believed in me, singer and musician Stevie Wonder said in a statement, the Detroit Free Press reported. 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.
Gordy-Edwards started Motown Records in 1959 with her brother, Berry Gordy Jr. She founded the Motown Museum in 1985.
Ms. Gordy-Edwards had a unique perspective that helped make entertainment history by putting away the bits of memorabilia that others in the organization initially discarded, according to her biography on the Motown HIstorical Museum Web site. She had the foresight to preserve Motown's history.
She was surrounded by family and friends when she passed away, a spokeswoman said, the Detroit Free Press reported.