Maxine Powell was a big part of the Motown image back in the early heydays of the record label. Powell directed the Motown Artist Development Department which was basically a finishing school. She mentored, taught etiquette, grooming and that polished trademark that all of the acts made famous under the Motown brand.
From the graceful moves, the appropriate dress, to the proper way to speak, it was all under the direction of Powell.
She never sang or wrote a song but she had an impact on superstar artists like, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations and a very young group of brothers out of Indiana, The Jackson Five. Maxine Powell died of natural causes in Southfield, Michigan at the age of 98 according to the Allen Rawls, CEO of The Motown Historical Museum.