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Marvin Gaye Mastered the Art of Soul
Category: The Art of Soul
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Marvin Gaye made a huge contribution to soul music in general and the Motown sound in particular. As one of Motown’s renaissance men, Gaye could do it all. He wrote, produced and played a variety of instruments. Most of all, Gaye possessed a classic R&B voice that was edged with grit yet tempered with sweetness. A musical visionary, he conceived of albums as something more than individual songs, whether it be his early collections of show tunes and standards or later thematic masterworks about the state of the world (What’s Going On?), sexual politics (Let’s Get It On) and marriage (Here, My Dear).

In the early days of Motown, Gaye played drums and piano on tour and in the studio for the likes of the Miracles and the Marvelettes. He wrote or co-wrote songs for himself and others, including “Dancing in the Street,” a Sixties soul classic made famous by Martha and Vandellas. Gaye recorded in a variety of styles, from adult ballads to gritty uptempo soul to topical concept albums. At every stage in his career, Gaye projected an air soulful authority driven by fervid conviction and heartbroken vulnerability. He was a long-suffering soul who sought relief in music. As biographer David Ritz noted, “His music was cathartic. His songs were prayers, meditations, strategies for survival.”

He was born Marvin Pentz Gay (he would later add the “e” to his surname) on April 2, 1939, in Washington D.C. His father, Rev. Marvin Gay Sr., led a small, charismatic sect that combined elements of Orthodox Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity. His mother worked as a domestic and raised Marvin and his four siblings. Gaye sought to escape from his father’s stern hand and the harsh realities of ghetto life through music. His musical tastes were shaped by such R&B artists as Rudy West (of the Five Keys), Clyde McPhatter (of the Drifters), Ray Charles and Little Willie John. He cited “God Only Knows,” by the Capris, as critical to his musical awakening.

In 1958 Gaye’s first vocal group, the Marquees, were tapped by Harvey Fuqua to replace the departed members of his own, the Moonglows. Through Fuqua’s acquaintance with Berry Gordy, Gaye wound up at Motown. Both Gaye and Fuqua married sisters of Gordy’s (Anna and Gwen, respectively). For Gaye, life at Motown became a family affair in every way, and his affiliation with the label would last for two decades.

Although he initially envisioned himself a supper-club singer and dreamed of becoming “the black Frank Sinatra,” Gaye succeeded at Motown as a soul man who aimed his talent at a younger audience. Gaye’s first success under his name came in 1962 with “Stubborn Kind of Fellow.”

From that point on, Gaye placed 56 records on the pop singles charts, both as a solo act and with female duettists, including Wells, Kim Weston, Tammi Terrell and Diana Ross. He connected with uptempo dance tunes ("Hitch Hike,” “Can I Get a Witness,” “I’ll Be Doggone") and more romantic fare that spotlighted his midrange tenor ("How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You,” "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby"). Gaye scored his greatest triumph with an edgy, sinuous version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” produced and co-written by Motown staffer Norman Whitfield. Gaye’s version shot topped the charts for seven weeks, sold four million copies and became Motown’s biggest-selling single of the Sixties. For all this, Gaye earned the nickname “the Prince of Motown.”

From 1967 to 1969, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell reigned as R&B’s hottest duo, cutting hits with the songwriting and production team of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Their streak included “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You.” Tragically, Terrell collapsed in Gaye’s arms during a 1967 performance in Virginia. Three years and eight operations later, she died of a brain tumor, and Gaye remarked, “I felt that I had somehow died with her.” Gaye, who considered himself more of a recording than a performing artist in any case, didn’t take to the stage again for five years after her death.

Subsequently, he reinvented and asserted himself to the point where he and Stevie Wonder became Motown’s first truly autonomous artists. Gaye’s artistry reached its peak with 1971’s What’s Going On, an ambitious, nearly operatic concept album that mused deeply on such issues as Vietnam, drugs, inequality, the economy and the environment over a free-flowing musical backdrop that drew on jazz, pop and classical forms. Gaye referred to the album as a “gift from God,” and the album’s spiritual dimension found overt expression in his liner notes: “We’ve got to find the Lord. Allow him to influence us. I mean, what other weapons have we to fight the forces of hatred and evil?”

In 1994, Britain’s Q magazine noted that What’s Going On “did for soul what Blonde on Blonde and Sgt. Pepper had done for rock.” In 2000, fellow Motown icon Smokey Robinson commented, “What’s Going On is my favorite album of all time. More than that, it is the greatest album of all time.” Besides establishing a new credibility for Motown in a more album-oriented age, What’s Going On yielded three influential and politically potent hit singles: “Inner City Blues,” “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and the title track. After this groundbreaking work, Gaye produced other masterpieces, including the unabashedly erotic Let’s Get It On and an idiosyncratic deconstruction of his failed marriage to Anna Gordy, Here, My Dear.

After 20 years at Motown, Gaye left the label for Columbia, where he staged a major comeback with Midnight Love (1982) and “Sexual Healing” (Number One R&B, Number Three pop). Like much of Gaye’s later work, it sought to unify the sensual and spiritual. Despite his rekindled popularity, both on the charts and as a live performer, Gaye remained troubled by drug problems and suicidal bouts of depression. He moved into his parents' home, where he frequently quarreled with his father, much as he had throughout his troubled teenage years.

On April 1, 1984 – a Sunday morning, and the day before his 45th birthday – Marvin Gaye was shot to death at point-blank range by his father after a violent argument. Following a star-studded funeral, his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Source: Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Tina Turner; Barry White; Sly Stone; O'jays; Marvin Gaye; James Brown, etc. Tags: video month live entertainment sly stone barry white tina turner ojays marvin gaye james

Anointed, anointed, anointed man of God is all I can say about Pastor Marvin Sapp Tags: anointed god pastor marvin sapp true worshippers word life production feature blog

The title HERE I AM for gospel star Marvin Sapp’s eighth and latest album is more than a little ironic when one considers that “Never Would Have Made It” from his 2007 release Thirsty has been among the most ubiquitous gospel songs of the last three years - let alone all time. The mega-selling “Never Would Have Made It” held down the #1 slot at Gospel radio for almost a full year; topped the Urban AC chart (the first to do so since Yolanda Adams’ “Open My Heart”); was a top selling ringtone and ringback, and propelled Thirsty to the top of the gospel charts for 27 weeks. So no one has had any problem finding Marvin Sapp since the ascent of that uplifting anthem. The singing preacher has been spreading his message with pride, reverence and triumph.

How does an artist go about following up such a monumental success? Marvin Sapp’s answer is simple. “If it's not broken, don't fix it," he states. “I have the same musicians, the same singers and even recorded at the same venue. Why did I do everything the same – because I wanted to produce the same anointing.”

HERE I AM was recorded live on October 16, 2009, in Marvin’s home city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The recording took place at Resurrection Life Church, a multi-million dollar, state of the art facility that seats up to 5,000. The project - produced by progressive Contemporary Christian music chameleon Aaron Lindsey with vocal direction from the incomparable Myron Butler - crackles with live instrumentation, the energy of the audience, and the soul stirring grace of Marvin’s voice and verses. What Marvin and company have come up with is an album of vintage Marvin Sapp – songs of reassurance, praise and guidance – along with a couple of new musical twists.

“The title track, ‘Here I Am,’ speaks to me as an individual and the things I've endured over the last three years since Thirsty,” Marvin explains. “I'm still standing, even under the waves of pressure and difficulties - from sickness in my wife's life to the more general challenges of my own life.”

The CD’s first single, "Best in Me," covers a theme that is very familiar in Marvin’s work and is even returned to throughout HERE I AM – that all are worthy in God’s eyes if you seek Him. “It's for anybody that's ever been told ‘you'll never be anything’ or anyone who acknowledges that they have made a mistake in life,” Marvin shares. “They need to understand that no matter how far you have fallen, God can pick you up wherever you are, dust you off and put you on a street called Straight. He sees the best in you when everyone else sees the worst.”

Along with the title track and first single, two other songs from the center portion of the concert form a powerful quadrant of reassurance that is the heart of the album. Those other two songs are “He Has His Hands On You” and “Don’t Count Me Out.”

“‘He Has His Hands on You’ is a song of encouragement, letting people know that what they face as individuals is all part of God's master plan,” Marvin continues. “It was written by Stan Jones - a phenomenal singer/writer/producer. I'm glad I took a chance with this young writer knowing that what he had to share would be a blessing to many. When I first heard the song, I dove at the opportunity to do it because it speaks to so many people. Many times they feel like giving up because they don't understand the process of God. Just knowing they are part of his plan can keep them encouraged.”

“‘Don't Count Me Out’ is my testimony…actually inspired by the life of David,” Marvin explains of the Biblical man that he has come to relate to and write about throughout his career. “It never ceases to amaze me that man is always judging you on your outside when God is looking at your heart. A lot of church folk write people off when they’re down, but God specializes in taking misfits and making masterpieces out of them.”

Marvin drops an up-out-your-seat praise jam titled “Fresh Wind” that is as irresistible as it is righteously funky and infectious. “On that one I went back to my good brother Jonathan Dunn - one of the most prolific singers and musicians of our time,” Marvin states. “‘Fresh Wind’ speaks of how people need to experience an individual revival...by tapping into the Holy Spirit. Some folks think that once they've experienced the will of God one time that's all they need. The truth is that our daily prayer ought to be for God to send a fresh wind on a consistent basis – that we may be replenished in spirit and function the way that He is calling us to function. This song is just some old-fashioned Pentecostal Church!

Most revolutionary of all is the rock-infused anthem “Praise You Forever” – a musical first for Sapp. “I wanted to stretch out and do something totally different,” Marvin confesses. “It's where we are as a musical society - crossing from gospel to AC. I took a flying leap into another genre believing it would be a positive, edgy challenge for me to try.”

Marvin Sapp was introduced to the gospel community by Fred Hammond as a six year member of the vocal group Commissioned. "I am a preacher - called by God - who happens to sing," is the way he defines his ministry - which was given its official blessing upon his receiving of the Doctor of Divinity Degree from Aenon Bible College and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Friends International Christian University. Sapp’s previous releases as a solo artist are the self-titled Marvin Sapp (his solo debut for Word Records – 1996); Grace & Mercy: Live (1997); Nothing Else Matters (1999); I Believe (his 2002 Verity debut); Diary of a Psalmist (2003); Be Exalted (2005) and Thirsty (2007).

When he isn’t spreading the word of God through over 200 preaching and speaking engagements a year, Sapp ministers at The Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, where he is senior pastor. By 2012, he hopes to have built a 1,500 seat sanctuary connecting to “FLC.” His ultimate goal: to encourage Believers to elevate their level of worship and praise. And he starts at home with his wife of 18 years, MaLinda and their three children Marvin II, Mikaila and Madisson.

Musing on the pressure of following up the success of that instant classic song, Marvin concludes, “The mind blowing thing about Thirsty is that I put it out without expectation. There was no way to predict that ‘Never Would Have Made It’ would have the impact that it had. I sequenced it as track #11 out of 12…and part of a medley on top of that!

With HERE I AM, I’m just trying to keep the message as clear and concise as possible. Honestly, I’m a little worried about how it will be received…but I did my very best. After that, you let God to do the rest.”

Source: Official Website http://marvinsapp.com/marvin-sapp-music/biodiscography/

Marvin Gaye was a musical genius that touched the souls of millions of people all over the world Tags: marvin gaye musical genius million people all over world word life production music hall

Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C. He sang in his father's church and in the Moonglows before signing with Motown. He recorded songs by Smokey Robinson before becoming his own producer on the protest album What's Going On. Gaye's later records developed his production style and yielded several hits. Gaye was killed in 1984 during a domestic dispute with his father.

"War is not the answer, because only love can conquer hate."

– Marvin Gaye

"If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else."

– Marvin Gaye

"Marvin Gaye is one of the greatest male voices of all time. So covering a Marvin Gaye song, especially one as quintessential as 'What's Going On,' I was a little hesitant in doing so. But I felt that it was one of those songs which spoke to a whole generation."

Singer Marvin Gaye, also known as the "Prince of Soul," was born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (he added the "e" to his last name alter in life) in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1939. Gaye was raised under the strict control of his father, Reverend Marvin Gay Sr., the minister at a local church, against a bleak backdrop of widespread violence in his neighborhood.

Throughout his childhood, Marvin Gaye often found peace in music, mastering the piano and drums at a young age. Until high school, his singing experience was limited to church revivals, but soon he developed a love for R&B and doo-wop that would set the foundation for his career. In the late 1950s, Gaye joined a vocal group called The New Moonglows.

The talented singer had a phenomenal range that spanned three vocal styles and he soon impressed the group's founder, Harvey Fuqua. It wasn't long before Gaye and Fuqua both came to the attention of Detroit music impresario Berry Gordy and were signed to Gordy's legendary Motown Records.

Motown Records

Gaye's first certified hit under his own name wouldn't come until 1962, but his early years at Motown were full of behind-the-scenes successes. He was a session drummer for Motown legends such as Little Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas. Showing his stripes as Motown's renaissance man, Gaye went on to break into the Top 40 for the first time on his own in 1962 with his solo single "Hitch Hike."

Throughout the 1960s, Gaye would show his immense range, churning out solo dance hits and romantic duets with hit-makers like Diana Ross and Mary Wells. "Can I Get a Witness" and "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" were some of Gaye's biggest hits of the period, the latter achieving its place as Motown's best-selling single of the 1960s.

For three high-flying years, Gaye and Tammi Terrell wowed the country with their soaring duet performances of songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You". Unfortunately, their reign as the Royal Couple of R&B ended when Terrell succumbed to a brain tumor in 1970. His beloved partner's death ushered in a dark period for the singer, who swore never to partner with another female vocalist and threatened to abandon the stage for good.

Political Message

In 1970, inspired by escalating violence and political unrest over the Vietnam War, Gaye wrote the landmark song "What's Going On." Despite clashes with Motown over the song's creative direction, the single was released in 1971 and became an instant smash. Its success prompted Gaye to take even more risks, both musically and politically.

When it was released in the spring of 1971, the What's Going On album served to open Gaye up to new audiences while maintaining his Motown following.

Departing from the tried and true Motown formula, Gaye went out on his own artistically, paving the way for other Motown artists like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to branch out in later years. Beyond influencing his peers, the album garnered widespread critical acclaim, winning the Rolling Stone Album of the Year award.

Crossover Success

In 1972, Gaye moved to Los Angeles and soon met Janis Hunter, who would later become his second wife. Inspired in part by his newfound independence, Gaye recorded one of the most revered love anthems of all time, "Let's Get It On." The song became his second number one Billboard hit, cementing his crossover appeal once and for all. Shortly afterwards, Motown pushed Gaye into touring to capitalize on his most recent success; reluctantly the singer-songwriter returned to the stage.

Through most of the mid-1970s, Gaye was touring, collaborating or producing. Working with Diana Ross and The Miracles, he would put off releasing another solo album until 1976. He continued touring after the release of I Want You (1976) and released his last album for Motown Records (Here, My Dear) in 1978. After two decades at Motown, Gaye signed with CBS's Columbia Records in 1982 and began to work on his last album, Midnight Love. The lead single from that album, "Sexual Healing," became a huge comeback hit for the R&B star and earned him his first two Grammy Awards and an American Music Award for Favorite Soul Single.

Personal Life

In 1975, Gaye's wife Anna Gordy -- Barry Gordy's daughter -- filed for divorce, and two years later Gaye married Hunter, who had by then given birth to their daughter, Nona (born September 4, 1974) and their son Frankie (born November 16, 1975). Gaye also had an adopted son (Marvin Pentz Gaye III) from his previous marriage. The singer's marriage to Hunter proved short lived and tumultuous, ending in divorce in 1981.

Death and Legacy

Despite his successful comeback in the early 1980s, Gaye struggled badly with the substance abuse and bouts of depression that had plagued him for most of his life. After his last tour, he moved into his parents' house. There he and his father fell into a pattern of violent fights and quarrels that recalled conflicts that had haunted the family for decades. On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son after a physical altercation; the father claimed he acted in self-defense but would later be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Three years after his death, Marvin Gaye Jr. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Creating beautiful art from a troubled life, Gaye again and again brought his vision, range, and artistry to the world stage. At the end of his career, he admitted he no longer made music for pleasure; instead, he said, "I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time."

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/marvin-gaye-9307988?page=2



WE WILL NEVER FORGET MARVIN Tags: marvin gaye legend soul music word life production feature

This Biography has been taken from the Allmusic.com

One of the most gifted, visionary, and enduring talents ever launched into orbit by the Motown hit machine, the career of Marvin Gaye blazed the trail for the continued evolution of popular black music: moving from lean, powerful R&B to stylish, sophisticated soul to finally arrive at an intensely political and personal form of artistic self-expression, his work not only redefined soul music as a creative force but also expanded its impact as an agent for social change.

Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (in the style of his hero Sam Cooke, he added the "e" to his surname as an adult) was born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. The second of three children born to Marvin Sr., an ordained minister in the House of God - a conservative Christian sect fusing elements of orthodox Judaism and Pentecostalism which imposes strict codes of conduct and observes no holidays - he began singing in church at the age of three , quickly becoming a soloist in the choir. Later taking up piano and drums, music became Gaye's escape from the nightmarish realities of his home life - throughout his childhood, his father beat him on an almost daily basis.

After graduating high school, Gaye enlisted in the U.S. Air Force; upon his discharge, he returned to Washington and began singing in a number of street-corner doo wop groups, eventually joining the (1) Rainbows, a top local attraction. With the help of mentor Bo Diddley, the Rainbows cut "Wyatt Earp," a single for the Okeh label which brought them to the attention of singer Harvey Fuqua, who in 1958 recruited the group to become the latest edition of his backing ensemble, the Moonglows. After relocating to Chicago, the Moonglows recorded a series of singles for Chess including 1959's "Mama Loocie"; while touring the Midwest, the group performed in Detroit, where Gaye's graceful tenor and three-octave vocal range won the interest of fledgling impressario Berry Gordy Jr., who signed him to the Motown label in 1961.

While first working at Motown as a session drummer and playing on early hits by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, he met Gordy's sister Anna, and married her in late 1961. Upon mounting a solo career, Gaye struggled to find his voice, and early singles failed; finally, his fourth effort, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow," became a minor hit in 1962, and his next two singles - the 1963 dance efforts "Hitch Hike" and "Can I Get a Witness" - both reached the Top 30. With 1963's "Pride and Joy," Gaye scored his first Top Ten smash, but often found his role as a hitmaker stifling his desire to become a crooner of lush romantic ballads ran in direct opposition to Motown's all-important emphasis on chart success, and the ongoing battle between his artistic ambitions and the label's demands for commercial product continued throughout Gaye's long tenure with the company.

 With 1964's Together, a collection of duets with Mary Wells, Gaye scored his first charting album; the duo also notched a number of hit singles together, including "Once Upon a Time" and "What's the Matter With You, Baby?" As a solo performer, Gaye continued to enjoy great success, scoring three superb Top Ten hits - "Ain't That Peculiar," "I'll Be Doggone," and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" - in 1965. In total, he scored some 39 Top 40 singles for Motown, many of which he also wrote and arranged; with Kim Weston, the second of his crucial vocal partners, he also established himself as one of the era's dominant duet singers with the stunning "It Takes Two."

However, Gaye's greatest duets were with Tammi Terrell, with whom he scored a series of massive hits penned by the team of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, including 1967's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Your Precious Love," followed by 1968's "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By." The team's success was tragically cut short in 1967 when, during a concert appearance in Virginia, Terrell collapsed into Gaye's arms onstage, the first evidence of a brain tumor which abruptly ended her performing career and finally killed her on March 16, 1970. Her illness and eventual loss left Gaye deeply shaken, marring the chart-topping 1968 success of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," his biggest hit and arguably the pinnacle of the Motown Sound.


At the same time, Gaye was forced to cope with a number of other personal problems, not the least of which was his crumbling marriage. He also found the material he recorded for Motown to be increasingly irrelevant in the face of the tremendous social changes sweeping the nation, and after scoring a pair of 1969 Top Ten hits with "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" and "That's the Way Love Is," he spent the majority of 1970 in seclusion, resurfacing early the next year with the self-produced What's Going On, a landmark effort heralding a dramatic shift in both content and style which forever altered the face of black music. A highly percussive album which incorporated jazz and classical elements to forge a remarkably sophisticated and fluid soul sound, What's Going On was a conceptual masterpiece which brought Gaye's deeply held spiritual beliefs to the fore to explore issues ranging from poverty and discrimination to the environment, drug abuse and political corruption; chief among the record's concerns was the conflict in Vietnam, as Gaye structured the songs around the point of view of his brother Frankie, himself a soldier recently returned from combat.

The ambitions and complexity of What's Going On baffled Berry Gordy, who initially refused to release the LP; he finally relented, although he maintained that he never understood the record's full scope. Gaye was vindicated when the majestic title track reached the number two spot in 1971, and both of the follow-ups, "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," also reached the Top Ten; the album's success guaranteed Gaye continued artistic control over his work and helped loosen the reins for other Motown artists, most notably Stevie Wonder, to also take command of their own destinies. Consequently, in 1972, Gaye changed directions again, agreeing to score the blaxploitation thriller Trouble Man; the resulting soundtrack was a primarily instrumental effort showcasing his increasing interest in jazz, although a vocal turn on the moody, minimalist title track scored another Top Ten smash.

The long-simmering eroticism implicit in much of Gaye's work reached its boiling point with 1973's Let's Get It On, one of the most sexually charged albums ever recorded; a work of intense lust and longing, it became the most commercially successful effort of his career, and the title cut became his second number one hit. Let's Get It On also marked another significant shift in Gaye's lyrical outlook, moving him from the political arena to a deeply personal, even insular stance which continued to define his subsequent work. After teaming with Diana Ross for the 1973 duet collection Marvin and Diana, he returned to work on his next solo effort, I Want You; however, the record's completion was delayed by his 1975 divorce from Anna Gordy. The dissolution of his marriage threw Gaye into a tailspin, and he spent much of the mid-1970s in divorce court; to combat Gaye's absence from the studio, Motown released the 1977 stopgap Live at the London Palladium, which spawned the single "Got to Give It Up (Pt. 1)," his final number one hit.

As a result of a 1976 court settlement, Gaye was ordered to make good on missed alimony payments by recording a new album, with the intention that all royalties earned from its sales would then be awarded to his ex-wife. The 1978 record, a two-LP set sardonically titled Here, My Dear, bitterly explored the couple's relationship in such intimate detail that Anna Gordy briefly considered suing Gaye for invasion of privacy. In the interim, he had remarried and begun work on another album, Lover Man, but scrapped the project when the lead single "Ego Tripping Out" - a telling personal commentary presented as a duet between the spiritual and sexual halves of his identity, which biographer David Ritz later dubbed the singer's "divided soul" - failed to chart. As his drug problems increased and his marriage to new wife Janis also began to fail, he relocated to Hawaii in an attempt to sort out his personal affairs.

In 1981, long-standing tax difficulties and renewed pressures from the I.R.S. forced Gaye to flee to Europe, where he began work on the ambitious In Our Lifetime, a deeply philosophical record which ultimately severed his long-standing relationship with Motown after he claimed the label had remixed and edited the album without his consent; additionally, Gaye stated that the finished artwork parodied his original intent, and that even the title had been changed to drop an all-important question mark. Upon signing with Columbia in 1982, he battled stories of erratic behavior and a consuming addiction to cocaine to emerge triumphant with Midnight Love, an assured comeback highlighted by the luminous Top Three hit "Sexual Healing." The record made Gaye a star yet again, and in 1983 he made peace with Berry Gordy by appearing on a television special celebrating Motown's silver anniversary. That same year, he also sang a soulful and idiosyncratic rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the NBA All-Star Game which instantly became one of the most controversial and legendary interpretations of the anthem ever performed; it was to be his final public appearance.

Gaye's career resurgence brought with it an increased reliance on cocaine; finally, his personal demons forced him back to the U.S., where he moved in with his parents in an attempt to regain control of his life. Tragically, the return home only exacerbated his spiral into depression; he and his father quarrelled bitterly, and Gaye threatened suicide on a number of occasions. Finally, on the afternoon of April 1, 1984 - one day before his 45th birthday - Gaye was shot and killed by the Reverend Marvin Gay, Sr. in the aftermath of a heated argument. In the wake of his death, Motown and Columbia teamed to issue two 1985 collections of outtakes, Dream of a Lifetime - a compilation of erotic funk workouts teamed with spiritual ballads - and the big-band inspired Romantically Yours. (Vulnerable, a collection of ballads which took over 12 years to complete, finally saw release in 1996.) With Gaye's death also came a critical re-evaluation of his work, which deemed What's Going On to be one of the landmark albums in pop history, and his 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame permanently enshrined him among the pantheon of musical greats. - Jason Ankeny

(1) According to David Ritz and Steve Turner, Marvin Gaye nerver actually joined the Rainbows. Marvin himself said that he had auditioned to Don Covay but he got turned down. After that humiliation Marvin decided to never do auditions again.

Thanks to Joey! 



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