It may sound like trivia, but Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records and longtime music industry veteran, is in fact related to the guys in LMFAO.
That’s right, the man who discovered and nurtured the Supremes, the Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder while defining the sound of a decade is also the real-life father of LMFAO’s Redfoo (real name Stefan Kendal Gordy, born in 1975) and the grandfather of the group’s other half (and foo’s nephew), Sky Blu, 25. The duo’s godfather? None other than R&B legend Smokey Robinson himself.
On Sunday, the whole family came out for the 2011 American Music Awards, where LMFAO closed out the show with the one-two punch of singles “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It,” and no one was prouder than the 81-year-old Gordy, who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet.
“They went from nothing to everything within a couple of years,” marveled Gordy at the duo’s astounding success, not the least of which includes the chart-topper “Party Rock.” “Even with the whole [Motown] legacy thing, I’ve had a chance to appreciate this and enjoy it. I’m delighted.”
Gordy gives credit at least in part to their forefathers. “I am so proud of the way they are as people,” he continues. “They remember their teachings from Smokey, Stevie and all the other artists and they have gratitude.”
Indeed, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Not only was “Party Rock” a No. 1 hit, it spent six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 4 million downloads, propelling sales of the band’s 2011 album Sorry for Party Rocking to 200,000 units.
They’re numbers a music industry stalwart like Gordy can easily get behind, but the tastemaker sees a bigger purpose to LMFAO’s place in the business. “Their goal is to make people happy,” says Gordy. “At a time like now, people need what they give — love, happiness, a party — and they’re doing it better than anybody I’ve seen in a long time… They’re making the world a better place.”
LMFAO continues their world tour after the Thanksgiving holiday, heading to Australia first then returning to the U.S. on Dec. 7 for a run of holiday radio show appearances. Gordy is reportedly working on a Broadway musical about the Motown label.
Watch LMFAO’s AMAs closing number below: