Happy birthday, Marvin!
Stephen calls him a silky soul singer, which I think is a darn good description. He was born Marvin Pentz Gay, but stuck an “E” to his surname to avoid misunderstandings. Remember I heard it through the grapevine? He followed that up with a string of successes like You’re all I need to get by in 1968 with Tammy Terrell, What’s going on? in 1971, Let’s get it on in 1973:
“Let’s Get It On” is a 1973 number-one single recorded by American soul singer Marvin Gaye for the Tamla (Motown) label. The title song of the album release of the same title, “Let’s Get It On” held the number-one position on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for two non-consecutive weeks in September 1973. In its first time at number one, it replaced “Brother Louie” by Stories, and was replaced by “Delta Dawn” by Helen Reddy; it then replaced “Delta Dawn” and was finally replaced by “We’re an American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad. Written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend, and produced by Gaye, it was the most successful single ever released on a Motown label.
After several other hits like Got to give it up, a funky dance groove, and Sexual healing, perhaps his most famous hit (partly for being the most recent in memory), Marvin descended into drugs and booze, and fears that someone was out to kill him. In 1983 he did a version of the Star-spangled banner, the American national anthem. He finally moved in with his parents and was shot dead by his preacher father on 1 April 1984, a day before his 45th birthday. He is sorely missed. Most of this information and more can be found on Wikipedia.