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Marvin Gaye

R&B and Soul

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye
A favorite of
Darren Farnsworth

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R&B and Soul
Updated Aug 2019

Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house…

Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, earning him the nicknames "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".

Gaye's Motown hits include "Ain't That Peculiar", "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and Tammi Terrell. During the 1970s, he recorded the albums What's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown, along with Stevie Wonder, to break away from the reins of a production company. His later recordings influenced several contemporary R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo soul. Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, he released the 1982 hit "Sexual Healing", which won him his first Grammy Awards, and its parent album Midnight Love. Gaye's last television appearances were at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, where he sung "The Star-Spangled Banner", Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever and on Soul Train which was his third and final appearance.

On April 1, 1984, Gaye's father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed Gaye with awards and other honors including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and inductions into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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