So you think you can sing? Motown studio will pay $25,000 to the winner of its cover contest 

Masterpiece Sound Studios, a legendary recording space affiliated with Motown Records, is hosting a cover song competition for musicians nationwide.

Masterpiece Sound Studios, a legendary Detroit recording space affiliated with Motown Records, is hosting a cover song competition for musicians nationwide who think they can improve on the iconic “Motown sound.” 

Three prizes of $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000 are waiting to be won, per The Detroit Free Press, and the recipients will be chosen during a live event at the Sound Board Theater inside the Motor City Casino. 

Masterpiece Sound Studios, a famed westside Detroit recording space, has launched a cover song contest that’s open to musicians across the country. (Photo:

Winners will also get representation by Sony Music Publishing with a Motown Record Producer for the winning cover tracks, and potential licensing opportunities.

The event is co-sponsored by Sony Music Publishing, which administers the song catalog of Motown Records. The deadline for submissions is one minute before midnight on July 31, and there is no entry fee.

Participating artists can select from 10 Motown songs — “Ain’t That Asking for Trouble,” by Stevie Wonder, “Heaven Sent You I Know,” by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston; “I Was Made to Love Her,” by Wonder; “I’m Still Loving You,” by Kim Weston; “It’s Got to Be a Miracle,” by The Supremes and The Four Tops; “My Baby Loves Me,” by Martha & the Vandellas; “Nothing’s Too Good for My Baby,” by Wonder; “Which Way Is the Sky,” by The Four Tops; “Whole Lot of Shakin’ in My Heart,” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” by Brenda Holloway — songs classified as album tracks and single B-sides.

Masterpiece Sound Studios was created by Sylvia Moy, a former songwriter for Motown Records, who died in 2017. She was the pen behind numerous 1970s Stevie Wonder hits, including “My Cherie Amour,” and “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” 

Her sister, Celeste Moy, told The Free Press that it was intentional for the studio’s contest to choose lesser-known records, seven of which were written by her sibling.

“Whenever you see the Motown story, it’s always the usual suspects, always the same songs,” said Moy. “But those are already standards. They’re going to do well.”

“This contest is about the sustainability of other songs written by great songwriters,” she contended. “The purpose is to reintroduce them in different genres to different markets.”

Of her sister, Moy said, “Sylvia was always very sensitive to the idea that great songs could be covered or reinterpreted in many different ways.”

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