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Marvin Gaye

  • 🇺🇸 Washington, D.C
  • Years Active
    1957 - 1984
Marvin Gaye is universally considered one of the most innovative and influential musicians in the history of soul and R&B, following a series of classic Motown Records solo singles and duets with the genre-redefining LPs What's Going On and Let's Get It On.

Gaye - known for a distinctive vocal style combining soulful sophistication with the raw power of gospel and the improvisational freedom of jazz - began his Motown career in the late 1950s as a session musician and songwriter, releasing his first solo album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, in 1961. Throughout the 1960s, Gaye reeled off hit after hit, including "Can I Get a Witness," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," "Ain't That Peculiar" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." He also scored with duets like "It Takes Two" (joined by Kim Weston) and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," one of several hits in partnership with Tammi Terrell.

The 1971 single "What's Going On," which Gaye co-wrote and produced, embraced a more personal, socially conscious approach than his previous efforts; its accompanying full-length, which explores themes including war, racism, poverty and environmental disaster, consistently ranks at or near the top of critics' polls celebrating the greatest albums ever recorded. Its 1973 follow-up, Let's Get It On, explored both sexuality and spirituality in uncommonly frank terms, setting the stage for Gaye's final big hit, 1982's "Sexual Healing," released two years ahead of his tragic death on the eve of his 45th birthday.

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