Soul music and Marvin Gaye go hand in hand. Born on April 2, 1939 in Washington D.C., his father was a minister, and his mother a schoolteacher. As a child, Gaye sang and played instruments in his father’s church choir. He dropped out of high school in 11th grade, and joined the air force; from which he was discharged after faking a mental illness.
Gaye started his career in music with The Moonglows, which was an R&B/doo-wop group. They had success in singing background vocals for such artists as Chuck Berry, and Etta James.
After The Moonglows broke up in 1960, Gaye moved to Detroit and worked as a session drummer for such acts as The Contours, and The Marvelettes, including their 1961 hit, Please Mr. Postman.
In September of 1962, after his first solo album had failed, Gaye finally made his first hit single, Stubborn Kind of Fellow, which was autobiographical based on his moody behavior. His career picked up after this, and he started releasing more well received singles throughout the sixties including, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) which became his signature song at the time.
From the late sixties on, Gaye had great success with hits such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. In 1971 he released the album, What’s Going on, which became the frontier of soul music. He had continued success in the seventies and early eighties with albums such as, Let’s Get It on, and, Midnight Love.
Unfortunately, Gaye’s life was cut short when his father fatally shot him during an argument a day before his 45th birthday. He has since been inducted into the hall of fame, and his music lives on to inspire and entertain.