Marvin Gaye: Mourning Singer Thirty Years LaterBy: Toni Matthews-El - April 2, 2014
This week is unique in that it marks both the anniversary of legendary R&B singer Marvin Gaye‘s birth as well as his untimely death.
He was killed on April 1st, 1984.
Since it happened on April Fool’s Day, it’s entirely possible that those who first heard about Gaye’s death were unwilling to believe it. It had to be a vicious joke at the expense of his fans.
The revelation that Gaye had died at the hands his own father stunned the world and only after his death did the demons that Gaye struggled with during his life begin to come to light.
Marvin P. Gaye Jr. was born on April 2nd, 1939 in Washington, D.C.
Gaye first learned to share his gift for music in his father’s church before eventually finding his way to Motown.
Many of his early hits, such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, were written by other artists and song-writers. In time it would be revealed that Gaye himself had a lot to say about the world.
His song “What’s Going On” remains a rallying cry for civil rights and a level of social consciousness that few other artists have matched.
Gaye should also be credited with an untold number of childbirths courtesy of steamy hits, “Let’s Get It On” and “Sexual Healing”.
Sadly, “Sexual Healing” would prove to be Gaye’s last major hit. It’s made worse by the fact that the song signaled a major comeback for the singer. He had been hit with a financial and musical slump a few years earlier.
Not even two years after the song’s release to radio, Gaye was gunned down in his family’s home after an intense argument with his father, Marvin P. Gaye Sr.
Despite the decades that have passed since the tragic event, his music remains a favorite of millions of people, a growing number of whom were not even alive when he was.
Image via YouTube