Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter and record producer….who helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960’s and 1970’s….originally as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits including…. “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”….”I Heard It Through The Grapevine””Brother Brother” as heard in this video herewith….and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross and Tammi Terrell….while later earning the titles like the “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul”.
During the 1970’s, he recorded the concept albums “What’s Going On” and “Let’s Get It On” and became one of the first artists in Motown (joint with Stevie Wonder) to break away from the reins of a production company. Gaye’s later recordings influenced several contemporary R&B subgenres….such as quiet storm and neo soul. Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980’s….when Marvin Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit “Sexual Healing”….and its parent album Midnight Love.
On April 1, 1984, Gaye’s father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles….which has never seemed quite fitting for a man of words like in “Brother Brother”. Since his death there have been many institutions to posthumously bestow Marvin Gaye with awards and other honors including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award….the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame…. the Songwriters Hall of Fame….and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This performance at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of MoTown records….is truly special as Gaye does a musical anthology of the roots of Black Music in America….that pretty much encapsulates the history of where the artists at MoTown came from….which is a performance laced with elegance and power.