Sadly, today marks the 31st anniversary of the untimely death of the legendary Prince of Soul, Marvin Gaye. I was 9 years old at the time when I learned the surprising news that Marvin had been murdered by his own father, but a year or so before, I had just started to discover his music after hearing Midnight Love (1982), his first album for Columbia Records, which included his last US Top Ten Pop hit, Sexual Healing.
After signing with Tamla/Motown Records in 1961, Marvin recorded hit after hit with such songs as How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), I Heard It Through The Grapevine, What’s Going On, and Sexual Healing. He also recorded duets with female Motown artists like Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Tammi Terrell, and Diana Ross (who recorded her 1985 hit, Missing You, in Marvin’s memory).
Even though Marvin’s life was cut short a day before his 45th birthday, his musical legacy continues to live on and inspire other artists like Justin Timberlake, Spandau Ballet, and Robin Thicke. There will never be another Marvin Gaye.