Marvin Gaye | Artist

Marvin Gaye | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Genre_Soul, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer born 1939 in Washington DC. He 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, earning him the nicknames "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul". Gaye was born the son of a strict church minister, and brought up in the public housing projects of Washington. He started singing in church and joined various doo-wop groups in his teens and later the vocal quartet The Marquees. The group changed its name to The Moonglows, and relocated to Chicago where they recorded several sides for Chess in 1959, including "Mama Loocie", which was Gaye's first lead vocal recording. In 1960, the group disbanded and Gaye relocated to Detroit where he came into contact with Motown president Berry Gordy. Gaye signed with Motown subsidiary Tamla and changed the spelling of his surname from "Gay" to "Gaye". He released his first single "Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide" in May 1961, with the album The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye following a month later. The album failed commercially and he spent time as a session drummer to make a living. In 1962, Gaye found success as co-writer of the Marvelettes hit "Beechwood 4-5789" and his first solo hit "Stubborn Kind of Fellow". Gaye then had chart hits with the dance song "Hitch Hike" and "Pride and Joy" in 1963. Throughout the '60s Gaye released a series of strong albums, may in partnership with Tammi Terrell. But Gaye's big breakthrough came with the release of the superb What's Going On in 1971. The album was Gaye's most politically outspoken work to-date, inspired by police brutality at an anti-war rally in Berkeley. The album reached No. 1 on the R&B charts within a month, staying there for five weeks. It also topped Cashbox's pop chart for a week and reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 and the Record World chart, selling over two million copies. With his career firmly established, Gaye went on to release a total of 22 studio and live albums. Standouts include In The Groove, What's Going On, Let's Get It On, I Want You and Here, My Dear. Gaye's life was tragically cut short in 1984, aged 44, when he was shot by his father after trying to stop a fight between his father and mother.

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Featured Albums: Marvin Gaye

Related Artists: Diana Ross

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