Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. was born on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C At twenty years of age while singing lead with The Moonglows, Marvin recorded “Mama Loocie” on Chess Records. After being introduced to Berry Gordy and hired as a drummer for The Miracles, The Marvelettes and The Contours and other acts, Marvin signed with Motown as an artist and a songwriter.
While his initial album of jazz and Broadway standards was less than successful, his move to R&B in 1962 produced “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” his appearance on the Hit Parade. In the summer of 1963 Marvin Gaye had hit first top ten hit with “Pride and Joy”.
With three #1 chart toppers in his career, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Let’s Get It On,” “Got to Give It Up,” Marvin had more than a dozen million selling singles, including, “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You,” “I’ll Be Doggone,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby,” “What’s Going On,” “Mercy, Mercy Me,” “Inner City Blues,” “Let’s Get It On” and Sexual Healing”.
Marvin Gaye’s albums also sold in the millions with his “Live at the London Palladium” a top ten, two million selling album in 1977.
On April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye died of a gunshot wound in Los Angeles, California.
Marvin Gaye was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009 and he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990.