Marvin Gaye (/ɡeɪ/; born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first 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)” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine“, and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul”.
During the 1970s, he recorded the 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. His 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 1980s, he 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. Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed 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.