Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye (1973).png
Gaye in 1973
Background information
Birth nameMarvin Pentz Gay Jr.
Born(1939-04-02)April 2, 1939
LeDroit Park, Washington, D.C., U.S.
DiedApril 1, 1984(1984-04-01) (aged 44)
Downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • synthesizer
  • drums
Years active1959–1984
Associated acts

Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984)[1] was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Gaye 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, including "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, later earning the titles "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".

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 (joint 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.[2] Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, he released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit "Sexual Healing" and its parent album Midnight Love.

On April 1, 1984, Gaye's father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.[3][4] Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed Gaye with awards and other honors—including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[5]

Early life

Marvin Gaye attended Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Gaye was born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. on April 2, 1939, at Freedman's Hospital[6] in Washington, D.C., to church minister Marvin Gay Sr., and domestic worker Alberta Gay (née Cooper). His first home was in a public housing project,[7] the Fairfax Apartments[8] (now demolished) at 1617 1st Street SW in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood.[9] Although one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, with many elegant Federal-style homes, Southwest was primarily a vast slum. Most buildings were small, in extensive disrepair, and lacked both electricity and running water. The alleys were full of one- and two-story shacks, and nearly every dwelling was overcrowded.[10][11][12] Gaye and his friends nicknamed the area "Simple City", owing to its being "half-city, half country".[13][14][a]

Gaye was the second oldest of the couple's four children. He had two sisters, Jeanne and Zeola, and one brother, Frankie Gaye. He also had two half-brothers: Michael Cooper, his mother's son from a previous relationship, and Antwaun Carey Gay,[16] born as a result of his father's extramarital affairs.[16]

Gaye started singing in church when he was four years old; his father often accompanied him on piano.[17][18][19] Gaye and his family were part of a Pentecostal church known as the House of God. The House of God took its teachings from Hebrew Pentecostalism, advocated strict conduct, and adhered to both the Old and New Testaments.[20][21] Gaye developed a love of singing at an early age and was encouraged to pursue a professional music career after a performance at a school play at 11 singing Mario Lanza's "Be My Love".[19] His home life consisted of "brutal whippings" by his father, who struck him for any shortcoming.[22] The young Gaye described living in his father's house as similar to " with a king, a very peculiar, changeable, cruel, and all powerful king."[13] He felt that had his mother not consoled him and encouraged his singing, he would have killed himself.[23] His sister later explained that Gaye was beaten often, from age seven well into his teenage years.[24]

Gaye attended Syphax Elementary School[25] and then Randall Junior High School.[26] Gaye began to take singing much more seriously in junior high,[27] and he joined and became a singing star with the Randall Junior High Glee Club.[8]

In 1953[7][28][29] or 1954,[6][30][b] the Gays moved into the East Capitol Dwellings public housing project in D.C.'s Capitol View neighborhood.[6][32][c] Their townhouse apartment (Unit 12, 60th Street NE; now demolished) was Marvin's home until 1962.[31][d]

Gaye briefly attended Spingarn High School before transferring to Cardozo High School.[33] At Cardozo, Gaye joined several doo-wop vocal groups, including the Dippers and the D.C. Tones.[35] Gaye's relationship with his father worsened during his teenage years, as his father would kick him out of the house often.[36] In 1956, 17-year-old Gaye dropped out of high school and enlisted in the United States Air Force as a basic airman.[37][38] Disappointed in having to perform menial tasks, he faked mental illness and was discharged shortly afterwards.[39] Gaye's sergeant stated that he refused to follow orders.[39][40] Gaye was issued a "General Discharge" from the service. [39][40]

Other Languages
العربية: مارفين غاي
aragonés: Marvin Gaye
azərbaycanca: Marvin Gey
български: Марвин Гей
català: Marvin Gaye
čeština: Marvin Gaye
Deutsch: Marvin Gaye
Ελληνικά: Μάρβιν Γκέι
español: Marvin Gaye
فارسی: ماروین گی
français: Marvin Gaye
Gaeilge: Marvin Gaye
galego: Marvin Gaye
한국어: 마빈 게이
հայերեն: Մարվին Գեյ
hrvatski: Marvin Gaye
isiXhosa: UMarvin Gaye
italiano: Marvin Gaye
ქართული: მარვინ გეი
Latina: Marvin Gaye
latviešu: Mārvins Gejs
Lëtzebuergesch: Marvin Gaye
lietuvių: Marvin Gaye
magyar: Marvin Gaye
македонски: Марвин Геј
മലയാളം: മാർവിൻ ഗയെ
მარგალური: მარვინ გეი
norsk nynorsk: Marvin Gaye
occitan: Marvin Gaye
polski: Marvin Gaye
português: Marvin Gaye
română: Marvin Gaye
русский: Гэй, Марвин
Simple English: Marvin Gaye
slovenčina: Marvin Gaye
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Marvin Gaye
svenska: Marvin Gaye
Tagalog: Marvin Gaye
Türkçe: Marvin Gaye
українська: Марвін Гей
Tiếng Việt: Marvin Gaye
Yorùbá: Marvin Gaye