Marvin Gaye began his music career as a member of The Moonglows in the late 1950s, he then ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960, signing with Motown Records subsidiary, Tamla. He started off as a session drummer, but later ranked as the label’s top-selling solo artist during the 1960s. He was crowned “The Prince of Motown” and “The Prince of Soul” because of solo hits such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”, “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell
His work in the early and mid-1970s included the albums, What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, and I Want You, which helped influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary, and slow jam genres.
In late March 1970, Marvin Gaye had fallen into a deep depression following the death of his singing partner and fellow Motown artist Tammi Terrell, who had died of a brain tumor earlier that month. Gaye refused to record or perform, going as far as to attempt an athletic career in football with the Detroit Lions of the NFL. After an unsuccessful tryout for the team, Gaye came in contact with musician Al Cleveland and the Four Tops’ Renaldo “Obie” Benson, who were working on a politically conscious song called “What’s Going On”. Gaye assisted Cleveland and Benson in completing the composition, and planned to produce the song as a recording for the Motown act The Originals. However, Cleveland and Benson persuaded Gaye to record the song himself.
After a self-imposed European exile in the early 1980s, during which there were press reports and rumours of his drug and booze addiction, Gaye returned on the 1982 Grammy-Award winning hit, “Sexual Healing” and the Midnight Love album before his death. Gaye was shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984 during an argument. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
A true master of his music, whose material will never date. He will always be remembered.
Charcoal and pastel on thick paper card. A2 size.