However, his inspirational journey was tragically cut short in 1984 at the age of only 44.
On April 1, 1984, the world was shocked by the news of Marvin’s tragic death.
Just one day before his 45th birthday, the singer was shot and killed by his own father.
So what happened before Marvin’s tragic death?
The legendary musician already shared a difficult relationship with his father Marvin Sr. – a devout Pentecostal pastor.
It was also following an attempt to distance himself from his father and the suppression of rumors of his sexual orientation that Marvin added an “e” to the end of his stage name.
After what would be his last musical tour, Marvin decided to go home to take care of his mother while she was recovering from kidney surgery.
On April 1, Marvin Sr. had become furious with his wife Alberta after being unable to locate a missing insurance policy.
Defending his mother, Marvin Jr. intervened and threatened his father – who then broke into his room.
A fight would have been started by Marvin Jr, the father and the son bitterly exchanged several serious blows at their family home.
Eventually, Alberta managed to separate the two men.
Marvin Sr. then left the room before returning a few moments later with a .38 caliber pistol – that his son had actually asked him to take care of Christmas.
Marvin Jr. was shot twice, once in the heart and a second time at point blank shoulder.
The first blow had already proved fatal and the musician was bleeding while his brother Frankie was holding him.
As her son walked away, Marvin Sr. put the pistol under his pillow and then went to sit on the porch to await his arrest.
While the police arrested the singer’s father, Marvin was rushed to hospital where he was reported dead at 1:01 p.m.
Marvin Gay Sr. was sentenced to six years suspended prison sentence and five years probation for willful homicide.
The legacy of Marvin Gaye
The music world was shaken by the news of the tragic death of Marvin in 1984.
His funeral took place on April 5, 1984 and his family and a guest list of musicians studded with stars, including Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.
The singer’s memorial was held in Glendale, California, and is said to have seen more than 10,000 people mourn the death of the star.
Now 36 years since his death, Marvin’s music remains the cornerstone of soul as well as countless other inspired genres.
He has since posthumously received a number of awards as well as a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star.
Last year, his contribution to music was honored with a stamp from the United States Postal Service that featured a portrait of the late singer.
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