Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr. was a legendary singer and recording artist who came to be known as the “Prince of Soul”. Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. He was raised by his father “Reverend Marvin Gay Sr.” who was a very strict guardian. Gaye was musically inclined from an early age and found a means of escape from the violence prevalent in his neighborhood. He became an expert pianist and drummer at an early age and started singing at his local church. He had a very troubled relationship with his father, who often beat him and kicked him out of the house. At the age of 17, Gaye left his home, quit high school and enlisted in the United States Air Force with dreams of becoming a pilot.
He was soon disillusioned with the Air Force and quit. He joined a number of musical groups such as “The Marquees” which later became “The Moonglows” and were then renamed “Harvey and the Moonglows” named after the co-founder Harvey Fuqua. The group relocated to Chicago and began performing with established artists such as Chuck Berry. In 1960, they relocated to Detroit and signed up with Tri-Phi Records. During this time, he came to the notice of Motown Records’ president Berry Gordy who negotiated with Fuqua to sign Gaye with Motown’s subsidiary label Tamla. His first few records were unsuccessful and he mostly accompanied other artists as a drummer. His first success came in 1962 as co-writer of a hit song performed by the band “The Marvelettes”. His first solo hit was the single “Hitch Hike” released in 1962 which reached No. 30 on the Hot 100. He had a string of successes in the 1960s such as “Pride & Joy”, “Can I Get a Witness” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” which became Motown’s bestselling single of the 1960s.
He also performed romantic duets with other famous singers such as Diana Ross, Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, with whom he recorded a series of hit songs such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Your Precious Love” and “You’re All I Need to Get By”. In 1967, Terrell collapsed during a live