Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of Marvin Gaye on the popular music of the last 40 years. A brilliant yet troubled artist who rarely found consistent joy during his lifetime, he has become an iconic figure in the history of Soul music.
Born in Washington D.C., the son of a disturbed, violent minister, Gaye (then Marvin Gay) grew up with a hard-wired attraction to and gift for music, which he nurtured from childhood on. After a stint in the armed forces, he was discovered by legendary Soul figure Harvey Fuqua and recruited to join a latter day version of Harvey and the Moonglows, principally as a drummer. He came to the attention of the fledgling Motown label and its founder, Berry Gordy, and was signed by the label in 1960 as session musician and solo artist. Gaye went on to marry Gordy's sister, Anna -- a marriage that would end in bitter divorce in the mid-70s.