Martha Reeves Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame After Successful Crowdfund

Martha Reeves Receives A Star
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Motown legend Martha Reeves, the lead singer of the popular group “Martha and the Vandellas”, got a long overdue honor on Wednesday. The singer received the 2,776th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After her former manager nominated her, Reeves successfully crowd-funded more than $50,000 just in time for her star ceremony. The event was accommpanied by Motown’s founder and resounding voices, Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson. Reeves celebrated her moment wearing a strapless white dress covered in metallic gold art deco print.

She accessorized with layers of gold jewelry and a matching wide-brimmed hat shaped like flower petals.

Gordy, 94, who signed Martha and the Vandellas to his Motown imprint in 1962, gave a sweet speech referencing their hits.

“She’s raw, and she’s real. She may be sassy, but always classy. And when she did her thing, there was truly nowhere to run, nowhere to hide,” said Gordy.

He continued, “She and the Vandellas set off a heatwave felt around the world, and everybody was dancing in the street. I’m talking about the one and only Martha Reeves.”

Robinson, 84, credited Reeves as ‘one of our profound acts,’ noting that her work ‘help to put Motown on the map all over the world.’ 

“I’m so happy and so proud to be here today and to see another one of our Motown family members have a star on the Walk of Fame,” he said. 

“We had so many wonderful, talented people there, and many of them are on this walk. And Martha, it’s time you were here,’ added Robinson. “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”

“She would encourage me to continue to write and to study and she motivated me in the singing and just being kind to people,” said Stevie Wonder.

“I remember working with her on the road,” said comedian Willie Tyler. “And people would always hum the songs and, like she said today, it makes people feel good when they hear that kind of music.”

Reeves is known for hits like “Dancing in the Street,” “Nowhere to Run,” “Quick Sand,” “(Love is Like a) Heatwave,” “Jimmy Mack” and more. 2023 marked her 60th anniversary of her first two albums with Motown both from 1963, “Come and Get These Memories” and “Heat Wave”.

She took to Facebook last week to thank her fans for their support. ‘I want to thank everyone who donated and helped spread the word. It has meant so much,’ Reeves wrote.

Martha continues to perform concerts and club dates both solo and with the Vandellas (currently her sisters, Lois and Delphine).  Martha and the Vandellas were Grammy nominated in 1964 for Best R&B Performance for their hit, “Heat Wave”.  In 1999, “Dancing in the Street” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and is also the recipient of the Dinah Washington Award, a Rhythm n’ Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, a Black Woman in Publishing Legends Award, and has been inducted in the Alabama Soul, Rock and Roll and Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Immortal Artists of all time.