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  • Motown is an American record company. The company was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. on January 12, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan as Tamla Records, and was incorporated as "Motown Record Corporation" on April 14, 1960. The name, a portmanteau of motor and town, is also a nickname for Detroit. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned record label which achieved significant crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its subsidiary labels were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as "The Motown Sound", a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence. During the 1960s, Motown achieved spectacular success for a small record company: 79 records in the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 record chart between 1960 and 1969. Gordy relocated Motown to Los Angeles in 1972, and there it remained an independent company until June 28, 1988, when Gordy sold the company to MCA and Boston Ventures. Motown was then sold to PolyGram in 1994, before being sold again to MCA Records' successor, Universal Music Group, when it acquired PolyGram in 1999.

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