Being one of the most influential and ecclectic musicians during the 1950's through the 1980's, he helped shape many musical styles like Rhythm and Blues and Soul. His life was nothing less than a mythical rags-to-riches' tale. Having escaped his sectarian upbringing, he quickly rose to the top of the musical charts, depending solely on his musical genius, charisma and an uncompromising intuition as to where the music should lead him.

"I hope to refine music, study it, try to find some area that I can unlock. I don't quite know how to explain it but it's there. These can't be the only notes in the world, there's got to be other notes some place, in some dimension, between the cracks on the piano keys."


The struggle with his record company about artistic freedom of expression cleared the path for many artists like Stevie Wonder, and in its way revolutionized the music scene.

"I am not going to be dictated to by fans, certainly. I am dictated enough to by my record company to last me a million years."

Fleeing divorce issues and a long-standing feud with the IRS, he stayed two years in Ostend, Belgium to regain mental strength and to battle his developed cocaine habit.

"Marriage is miserable unless you find the right person that is your soulmate and that takes a lot of looking."

During that period he wrote Sexual Healing, released on his first Columbia album Midnight Love which earned him a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and sold over two million copies.


Attempting to resolve his emotional troubles, he moved back in with his parents, only to find himself spiralled deeper into suicidal depression and cocaine abuse. After another heated domestic dispute Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his own father, Marvin Gay Sr. on April 1st 1984, one day short of his 45th birthday.

"Great artists suffer for the people."
Marvin Gaye - April 2nd 1939 - April 1st 1984