Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. – April 2nd in African American History

Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.April 2, 1939 Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (Marvin Gaye), instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, was born in Washington, D. C.

Gaye started as a member of The Moonglows in 1958 and after they disbanded in 1960, he moved to Detroit, Michigan and signed with Motown Records. Gaye experienced his first significant success in 1962 as co-writer of the Marvelettes’ “Beechwood 4-5789.” This was soon followed by his first hit single, “Stubborn Kind of Fellow.”

Other hit singles followed in 1963 and 1964, including “Hitch Hike,” “Pride and Joy,” “Can I Get a Witness,” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” In the 1970s, Gaye released several successful albums, including “What’s Going On” (1971), “Let’s Get It On” (1973), and “Live at the London Palladium” (1977). Gaye’s 1982 hit, “Sexual Healing”, won two Grammy Awards.

On April 1, 1984 Gaye was fatally shot by his father. His autobiography, “Divided Soul,” was published in 1986 and in 1987 he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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