Marvin Gaye

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Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye
Gaye in 1973
Background info
Full name Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.
Birthday/Birthplace (1939-04-02)April 2, 1939
Washington, D.C.
Deceased April 1, 1984(1984-04-01)
Los Angeles, California
  • R&B
  • soul
  • psychedelic soul
  • funk
  • jazz
  • pop
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboard
  • drums
  • percussion
  • synthesizer
Active Years 1959–1984
Record Labels
  • Tamla
  • Tamla-Motown
  • Columbia
Worked with
  • Harvey Fuqua
  • Mary Wells
  • Kim Weston
  • Tammi Terrell
  • Diana Ross
Official Website

Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr. (Washington DC, April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), better known as Marvin Gaye (the finalhe added, in homage to his idol Sam Cooke), was a musician, singer and producer of soul, smooth soul, quiet storm, blaxploitation and one of the fundamental components of the Motown Sound style.

During his early years, he became known as “The Prince of Motown” and “The Prince of Soul,” recording numerous hits of his time such as “Pride and Joy,” “Is not No Mountain High Enough,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and the number 1 in the United States and the United Kingdom “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”.

Despite his initial success, Marvin Gaye’s career is interrupted after being strongly affected by the abrupt death of Tammi Terrell, his eternal companion on stage. After a period of depression (from which he never completely emerged), he tried to find a position as an open receiver in a professional football team, the Detroit Lions, something that was finally not allowed for fear of a possible injury that would affect his career. Marvin Gaye returns to the music scene in the early 70’s to record some of the most acclaimed albums of his career, among which are “What’s Going On” (1971), “Let’s Get It On” (1973) , “I Want You” (1976) and “Here, My Dear (1978).

Since his death, many institutions have awarded him posthumous titles, prizes and distinctions – including the Grammy Award for artistic career, a position in the Hall of Fame for Rhythm and Blues, another in the Hall of Fame of the Composers and in 1987, in his first year of eligibility, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition, it occupies the eighteenth (18th) position of the 100 Great Artists of the Rolling Stone Magazine.

Marvin Gaye’s Biography

First years

Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr. was born in Washington DC, where his father was a preacher, minister of the House of God (House of God), a conservative Christian congregation with elements of Pentecostalism and Orthodox Judaism that demanded the fulfillment of strict codes of conduct and did not celebrate any holidays. Marvin began to sing in the choir of the church, a place about which years later he would say “I learned the joy of music”; however, at home, he had to endure moral fundamentalism and his father’s fits of anger. During those years, he learned to play piano and drums, being forced to abandon athletics because of his father’s intransigence.

With no other way out than music, at 15 he formed his first group, DC Tones. After a brief hiatus in the air forces, from where he was expelled for indiscipline, he joined the doo wop group The Rainbows, and later in The Marquees, recording a single sponsored by Bo Diddley that was unsuccessful. Soon after, he joined The Moonglows, a group led by Harvey Fuqua and, by then, one of the best doo wop groups. «Mama Loocie» (1959, Chess Records) was the first single published with The Moonglows.

After several jobs and tours, Harvey Fuqua disbanded the group and moved to Detroit in search of more opportunities, taking Gaye. There, he founded a record label and married Gwen Berry, who ran another small label; both merged a little later on the Tri Phi Records label and incorporated Marvin Gaye into his catalog, who had married Anna Berry, Gwen’s older sister, in 1961. Subsequently, Berry Gordy, brother of Anna and Gwen and owner of the Tammi stamp, then Tamla Motown, absorbed the company Tri Phi.

With Motown

In Motown, where he would make a brilliant career, Gaye began accompanying the drummer, among other groups, to Smokey Robinson & amp; the Miracles, and doing vocal accompaniments and playing the piano on recordings by other artists. In August of 1961, he made his solo debut with The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, without much success. Deviating from the path of conventional ballads he composed with William Stevenson and George Gordy, “That Stubborn Kinda ‘Fellow” (1963), of which the title track was released, Hitch Hike and “Pride and Joy”, his first successes in Motown, followed by the album How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (1964) and the singles “I’ll Be Doggone” and “Is not That Peculiar” (1965). In 1964 he began his duets with Mary Wells, the female star of Motown, with whom he recorded, that same year, Together, and a couple of songs that had some popularity. Later he recorded with Kim Weston, “Take Two” (1967), but his best duets were undoubtedly with Tammi Terrell, with which he managed to recreate in the eyes of the public the perfect romance to the point that insistent rumors circulated about relationships between both who were, yes, great friends. With her she achieved great successes like “Is not No Mountain High Enough” and “Your Precious Love” in 1967 and “Is not Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “You’re AllNeed to Get By” in 1968. Fantasy ended abruptly after the summer of 1967, Tammi Terrel fainted on stage in the arms of Gaye for an undiagnosed brain tumor that would end his life three years later. “I feel like I’ve died with her somehow,” Gaye would say later.

As a soloist

The following year he solo exploded the lists with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968) placing in number one of the lists of R & B and pop and managing to sell more than 4 million copies of the single; Motown’s biggest sales success in the 1960s. However, from that moment Gaye began to distance himself in the artistic field of the Motown producers and following the trend that manifests itself in the popular music of those years to incorporate social and political thematic lyrics, he recorded in 1971 what will eventually be considered his best album, What’s Going On, with elements of jazz and classical music and in which he deals with the protection of the environment, political corruption , the abuse of drugs and the Vietnam War inspired by his brother Frankie Gaye who had just returned from the front.

Rated by some as the best soul album in history, What’s Going On has however to overcome the initial opposition of Gordy who considers it excessively political and scarcely commercial; However, Gaye refuses to make another recording until the single is recorded, which Gordy finally accesses in January 1971. Once published, he quickly reaches the first and second positions in the soul and pop charts and in the face of success, Gordy recognizes Gaye’s victory and gives in to his pretensions. The LP (long play) is recorded in just 10 days in March and comes to light on May 21, achieving the same success as the single. The irony is that, after thirty years of selling, the album that Motown did not want at first may be the best expression of the one Gordy dreamed of: “music that reaches the hearts, souls, and wallets of all people.” < / p>

In 1973 he recorded Let’s Get It On, an album impregnated with sensuality that was well received by audiences and recorded the same year with Diana Ross Marvin & amp; Diana. Already alone and at the end of his marriage he publishesWant You. After his divorce from Anna Gordy, he was sentenced in 1976 by a court for non-payment of alimony, being forced to work on a new record; the result is Here, My Dear, an album so personal that Anna Gordy even considers the possibility of suing her for invading her privacy.

Last years

After several professional setbacks and a new marital failure, Gaye moves to Hawaii and finally, due to tax problems, he arrives in Europe in 1981, where he will bring to light In Our Lifetime, a complicated and intimate album that will put an end to his relationship with Motown. After signing with Columbia Records in 1982 he composed “Midnight Love” while trying to overcome his addiction to cocaine. One of his songs, “Sexual Healing,” is one of Gaye’s most famous songs. “Sexual Healing” was written in the village Moere (West Flanders, Belgium). There you can see his splendid house. Despite the resurgence of his career and his reunion with fame, he sank even deeper into the drugs from which he tried to isolate himself by seeking refuge in his parents’ house. However, during the time he spent there on several occasions he tried to commit suicide after having bitter arguments with his father. Finally, on April 1, 1984, on the eve of his 45th birthday, in the course of one of these discussions, his father killed him with two shots (a fact that would be qualified as “justifiable homicide or self-defense”, since in court his father alleged self-defense because Marvin had beaten him, which was repeated a lot due to his differences and Marvin’s abuse of drugs) with a weapon that Marvin himself had given him four months earlier. After the tragedy, her mother divorced her father and he ended his days in a nursing home, where he died in 1998 of a heart attack.

Marvin Gaye by the Belgian painter Willy Bosschem

In 1987, Gaye took his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was not, however, the only tribute to his figure: in life, in 1983, the British group Spandau Ballet recorded the single “True” dedicated to Gaye and the “Motown sound”; a year after his death The Commodores picked up the passing of Gaye on “Night Shift” and in 1999 the world of R & B honored the “Prince of Motown” on the album Marvin is 60. Also in 1991 Rod Stewart and Tina Turner they recorded together a memorable version of “It takes two” that was included in the albums Vagabond Heart by Rod Stewart and Simply the Best by Tina Turner. In 2015, singers Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor wrote a song that bears the name of the late singer, Marvin Gaye .

Marvin Gaye Net Worth – $5 Million

More Facts about Marvin Gaye

The Marvin Gaye’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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