Best remembered as a key figure in the evolution of Motown soul, smooth-voiced Marvin Gaye -- whose hits include "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," the haunting "What's Going On," and the sexy "Let's Get It On" -- also occasionally played dramatic roles in film. Gaye made his first film appearance as an actor in the made-for-TV movie The Ballad of Andy Crocker (1969).
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Started singing at the age of 3 in his father's church.
- First hit record, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow," came in 1962 when he was with the Motown label.
- Had numerous duet partners, but his most successful singing partnership was with Tammi Terrell, beginning in 1967.
- His groundbreaking 1971 album What's Going On, which featured songs with political and social messages, changed the direction of R&B music.
- Wrote the score for the movie Trouble Man in 1972.
- At the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, rendered a crowd-pleasing, soulful version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
- Was shot to death by his father in 1984.