Maxine Powell, Motown Records' chief of charm, dies at 98

Maxine Powell, Motown Records' chief of charm, dies at 98

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Maxine Powell Maxine Powell
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Maxine Powell, who was responsible for developing the charm, grace and style of Motown Records' artists during the Detroit label's 1960s heyday, has died. She was 98.

Motown Museum CEO Allen Rawls says Powell died Monday at a hospital in Southfield, Mich. She was moved into hospice care two weeks ago, and the Motown museum downtown paid a tribute to her in August.

"It was just a big lovefest to talk about Maxine Powell and what she had contributed to the organization," Rawls tells Fox 2's Randy Wimbley.

Powell didn't sing or write songs, but those associated with Motown say Powell was as essential to the label's operations as any performer or producer.

Powell directed the label's Artists Development Department, also known as "Motown's Finishing School." She guided many, including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Jackson Five and the Supremes.

She emphasized how artists should carry themselves, treat people and dress.

Motown founder Berry Gordy said the training school was the only one of its kind offered at any record label.

Funeral arrangements have not be set for Powell yet. Check back on myfoxdetroit.com for updates.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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