MAA NEWS - One of the world’s greatest grooming coaches has died, Dr. Maxine (Blair) Powell passed at the age of 98 in Southfield, Michigan. She was the head of what was publicly known as Motown’s Charm School, and taught virtually all of the popular Motown celebrities how to conduct themselves properly in society. She died of natural causes on Monday at the age of 98. “I am not an etiquette teacher,” said Maxine to Billy Wilson of the Motown Alumni Association. “I am a personal finishing & grooming coach… I don’t teach people how to use a fork and spoon.” Powell was a native Chicagoan; when asked why she did come to Detroit she said, “Detroit was the happening city back in the early years.” She opened a school in Detroit the ‘Maxine Powell Finishing and Modeling School in the 50’s. She became friends of the Gordy’s and hired the Gordy’s printing company to print her fliers & brochures for her Vegas Styled fashion shows. Members of the Gordy family also went to her finishing school. Gordy courted Powell to analyze his artist, and what started as a friend helping a friend, Powell got caught up in the Motown magic. She closed her finishing school and joined as one of Motown founding members of the Artist Development Department in 1964. “We use to go to her classes and laugh at her ways of teaching us,” said one of the Motown stars. “The girls were rough under the collar,” said Powell. “I wanted those kids to be able to present themselves in front of King and Queens,” Powell went on to say.
I loved Maxine, said Billy Wilson; “we were very good friends, Powell was very sharp and remembered everything up until the day of her death,” said Wilson. She was the assistant/ public relations for Martha Reeves during her tenure at Detroit’s City Council. Powell also worked at Wayne County Community College in Detroit. She worked for Motown for 5 years (1964 to 1969) during the heydays years of Motown. More Information on Maxine Powell: * http://www.answers.com/topic/maxine-powell
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