Music Exec Robert Louis Gordy Sr. Passes Away at 91

Music Exec Robert Louis Gordy Sr. Passes Away at 91


Music publishing executive Robert Louis Gordy, Sr., the younger brother of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, passed away. He was 91. 

His family confirmed that he passed away from natural causes on Friday, Oct. 21 at his home in Marina del Rey, California. 

“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of my younger brother, Robert,” Berry Gordy said in a statement. “He was absolutely the best lil’ brother anyone could ever hope for. His ability to succeed at whatever he attempted or that I threw his way, amazed me over the years. I will miss his love, his support, and his loyalty.”

Robert Gordy, Sr. and Berry Gordy
Robert Gordy and Berry Gordy. (Courtesy of West Grand Media, LLC)

Before Robert Gordy, Sr. got into the music publishing sector, he was an artist under the pseudonym Bob Kayli.

His 1958 single “Everyone Was There,” which he co-wrote with Berry, was a mild hit. Released on Carlton Records, the song peaked at No. 96 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Robert later worked at Motown Records, where he eventually became the head of the label’s publishing division, Jobete Music, in 1965.

Robert is survived by his three children, Roxanna Wright, Rodney Gordy and Fuller Gordy); his brother, Berry Gordy; four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and other relatives. 

His son, Robert Gordy Jr., passed away in 2021 from natural causes of a non-specific disease. 

Funeral arrangements for Robert Gordy, Sr. are expected to be announced at a later date.