DETROIT (AP) — Hundreds are expected to say goodbye to Esther Gordy Edwards, the sister of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. who helped him build the company and led efforts to preserve the original Detroit headquarters.
Edwards died last week at age 91.
Berry Gordy solemnly welcomed mourners as they arrived at the Bethel AME Church in Detroit Wednesday morning. Gordy clasped hands with Smokey Robinson as organ music played inside.
Stevie Wonder, who also signed to Motown, is expected to make a musical tribute at the ceremony.
Edwards stayed behind when Motown Records moved to California. She amassed memorabilia and preserved the old Detroit headquarters, Hitsville U.S.A., turning it into a museum that opened in 1985.
Berry Gordy has said his sister “protected the Motown legacy for generations to come.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.