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IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE: The Motown Sound

Airs Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Martha and the Vandellas, one of the most successful groups of the Motown-era, pictured here in 1964.

Jamie Foxx, program host and performer in “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.”
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Above: Jamie Foxx, program host and performer in “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.”

Natasha Bedingfield, performer in “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.”
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Above: Natasha Bedingfield, performer in “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.”

John Legend, performer in “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.”
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Above: John Legend, performer in “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.”

This series of performance specials at the White House presents the best of American performing arts. From the Broadway musical to opera, country and western, gospel, ballet, jazz and more, the series has featured the extraordinary richness of American music and dance.

“The Motown Sound: In Performance At The White House” is a PBS music special in the East Room of the White House. President and Mrs. Obama hosted the event on Thursday, February 24, 2011 in celebration of Black History Month and the legacy of Motown, the distinctive soul-infused pop music sound, style and presentation that was born in Detroit and embodied by the Motown Records label.

The evening will include program host Jamie Foxx and performances by Foxx, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, the group Gloriana, Nick Jonas, Ledisi, John Legend, Amber Riley, Smokey Robinson, Mark Salling, Seal and Jordin Sparks. (Program subject to change.)

The all-star tribute to the legendary Motown Sound will include stars from the Motown Records label’s golden age and performances by artists of today who have been influenced by Motown and its powerful legacy.

Celebrating a 50th anniversary last year, the Motown Records label was devised by music entrepreneur Berry Gordy and launched an historic cultural shift in the racial integration of popular music, with crossover hits and artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, The Four Tops and many others.

The entire broadcast performance will be available for online viewing on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

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Preview: The Motown Sound: In Performance At The White House

Above: "The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House" premieres Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide. The show will include program host Jamie Foxx and performances by Foxx, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, the group Gloriana, Nick Jonas, Ledisi, John Legend, Amber Riley, Smokey Robinson, Mark Salling, Seal and Jordin Sparks.

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The Motown Sound: Backstage with Natasha, Jordin and Ledisi

Above: Behind the scenes with Jordin Sparks, Natasha Bedingfield and Ledisi as they prepare their rendition of "Stop in the Name of Love" for "The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House."

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The Motown Sound: Amber Riley sings "Living For The City"

Above: Amber Riley sings "Living For The City" for "The Motown Sound: In Performance At The White House."