In June 1961, Gaye issued his first solo recording, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, the second album by Motown. The record featured Broadway standards and jazz-rendered show tunes, and also yielded the R&B ballad single, "Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide". The record failed. Gaye released two more failed singles, a cover of The Chordettes' "Sandman" and "Soldier's Plea" in 1962. Gaye would find his first success as a co-songwriter on the Marvelettes' 1962 hit, "Beechwood 4-5789".
Gaye scored his first hit single "Stubborn Kind of Fellow" in September. The song, co-written by Gaye, was an autobiographical pun on his nonchalant, moody behavior. Produced by William "Mickey" Stevenson, the recording became a hit on the Hot R&B Songs chart.
The single would be followed by his first Top 40 singles "Hitch Hike", "Pride and Joy" and "Can I Get a Witness", which charted for Gaye in 1963. The success continued with the 1964 singles "You Are a Wonderful One", "Try It Baby", "Baby Don't You Do It" and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", which became his first signature song.
Gaye contributed to writing Martha and the Vandellas' 1964 "Dancing in the Street". His work with Smokey Robinson on the 1966 album, Moods of Marvin Gaye, spawned consecutive top ten singles in "I'll Be Doggone" and "Ain't That Peculiar". Due to this success and the singer's well-crafted image, Gaye became a favorite on the teen shows American Bandstand, Shindig!, Hullaballoo and The T.A.M.I. Show. In August 1966, he became just the second Motown act to successfully perform at the Copacabana, though due to label friction, a live album cut from the performances set to be released in 1967 was shelved for nearly 40 years.
Marvin Gaye ladies and Gentleman
From there Marvin Gaye went on to being one of the biggest artists of his time. Releasing several more albums and songs [This is where I stop spoon feeding you and hoping you go and do some research of your own]
(Fast fowarding to years later) After being offered a chance to clear things up in Ostend, Belgium, he moved there in early 1981. Still upset over Motown's decision to release In Our Lifetime, he negotiated a release from the label and signed with Columbia Records in 1982, releasing the Midnight Love album late that year. The album included "Sexual Healing", which was Gaye's last hit. He wrote it during his 2 month stay in the village Moere, near Ostend.
The single reached number one on Billboard's R&B chart, where it stayed for ten weeks, later crossing to number three on Billboard's Hot 100. The single sold two million copies in the U.S. earning a platinum certification. The song also gave Gaye his first two Grammy Awards (Best R&B Male Vocal Performance, Best R&B Instrumental) in February 1983. It was nominated for Best R&B Song but lost to George Benson.
The following year, he was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance again, this time for the Midnight Love album. In February 1983, Gaye performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the NBA All-Star Game, held at The Forum in Inglewood, California, accompanied by a drum machine. In March 1983, he gave his final performance in front of his old mentor and label for Motown 25, performing "What's Going On". He then embarked on a U.S. tour to support his album. The tour, ending in August 1983, was plagued by health problems and Gaye's bouts with depression, and fear over an attempt on his life.
When the tour ended, he isolated himself by moving into his parents' house. He threatened to commit suicide several times after bitter arguments with his father. On April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th birthday, Gaye's father fatally shot him after an argument that started after his parents squabbled over misplaced business documents. Gaye attempted to intervene, and was killed by his father using a gun he had given him four months before. Marvin Sr. was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Charges of first-degree murder were dropped after doctors discovered Marvin Sr. had a brain tumor. Spending his final years in a retirement home, he died of pneumonia in 1998. In 1987, Gaye was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also inducted to Hollywood's Rock Walk in 1989 and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990.
Personal Thoughts: This is yet another favorite of mine. Marvin Gaye made beautiful music (By now if you havent realized that: Hip-Hop is my favorite Genre but I rather listen to oldies anyday--you just been asleep) I dont remeber when i was told the story of his tragic death but I could remember thinking, another life, especially or a musical artist taken to early. And to think that he met his demise at the hands of his father with the same gun that he himself purchased. Well, I believe that God always takes the Good ones first and thats why we no longer have Marvin gaye here with Us. His Music will live on forever in the hearts of his fans.