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Ringo Starr and Michael Jackson Honered at The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute to Music on Television

The Paley Center for Media honored classic artists of music at The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute to Music on Television. The Paley Center contributed to the Music Collection in the Paley Archive.  

The event shared stories and images told by presenters representing both the music and television industries. The night’s participants included: Derek Hough, Adam Lambert, Nigel Lythgoe, Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Gene Simmons, Michelle Williams, and Deborah Joy Winans. 

The event also paid tribute to the television work of music legends Sir Ringo Starr with an introduction by Sheila E., and Michael Jackson, whose tribute was led by Motown’s founder Berry Gordy.

“Television, and Ed Sullivan specifically, played such a major role in introducing the Beatles to America and to the world. It's hard to imagine now, but at the time we played Ed Sullivan over 70 million people watched," Sir Ringo Starr said when accepting his honor. "They said there was no crime while we were playing. How far out is that? I've always loved TV, I did a couple TV specials like Ognir Rrats and loved playing a tiny conductor on the ShiningTime station. I’m honored to be a part of this special tribute from the Paley Center, and highlighting the crucial role television has played for musicians and in the music industry.”

Also honored was Michael Jackson whose performances on television specials "Motown 25" and other events created some of television's biggest dance moments was honored by Motown founder Berry Gordy. 

“Michael Jackson reigns as the undisputed King of Pop not just because of his exceptional talent, but because he was able to package that talent in a whole new way," Gordy said. "In both form and content, Jackson simply did what no one had done before – pure magic mixed with unforgettable, transcendent performances.”

When honoring the Power of Television Theme Song, Michelle Williams said: “Unlike a hit song on the radio, a TV theme might take up only half a minute or less of your time. The themes for Seinfeld and Will and Grace accomplish in a few seconds what much longer compositions do – they have a way of burrowing into your brain for your lifetime. Want to know who can turn the world on with her smile? Everybody knows it’s Mary Tyler Moore. “Movin’ On Up” wasn’t just a lyric in the theme from the Jeffersons, it was a social statement.”

Adam Lambert: “Television has the unique ability to bring masses of humanity together in real time to share a moment, either in celebration or mourning. It could be a sporting event, like the Super Bowl, a humanitarian appeal, or response to great tragedy -- music on television has been the medium with the power and reach to unite a vast audience in common feeling and sense of purpose.”

Check back with TVMusic Network for exclusive interviews from the event. 

 Check out a few photos from the event below: 
(All photos: Paley Center for Media)

Derek Hough

Michelle Williams

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert

Berry Gordy

Deborah Joy Winans

Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach

Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, Joe Walsh and Majorie Bach

Amber Stevens West

Mj Rodriguez

Nigel Lythgoe

Sheila E

Billy Porter and MJ Rodgriguez

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