Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to Marvin and Me

As Marvin Gaye and I share a birthday, I thought it would be fitting to give a little look back on the Prince of Soul. And what a life it was!

Marvin Gaye, born on April 2nd, 1939, started out with a "doo-wop" group in the 1950s. With a ridiculous four octave vocal range, it was obvious he had a bright future ahead of him.

Gaye's talent and commercial success finally became one with the releases of such solo-hits as How Sweet It Is and I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Crowned as the Prince of Motown, Gaye left the airwaves for a short while before returning with his crowning achievements, "What's Going On," and "Let's Get It On." Gaye somehow managed to merge pure sex appeal and romantic love while at the same time protesting a war movement too, in a way that no artist has done before or since.

However, as is the case so often with brilliant artists, drugs at the time were a real problem for Gaye. Along with a failing marriage and numerous overdose issues, it was suggested Gaye leave the US for some time to get himself together. He returned in 1982 with the Grammy-winning hit "Sexual Healing." Gaye was back and was as great as ever.

In one of the most tragic stories in music history, two years later he was shot dead by his own father. 44 short years of life, a shooting star, gone.

Posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, Gaye was honored with the #6 ranking on Rolling Stone's Greatest Singers of All Time List. A phenomenal act with a tremendous voice, I am honored to share a birthday with one of my favorite artists, Marvin Pentz Gaye.

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