20 Reasons Why Marvin Gaye Was The Prince of Motown

April 1, 2016 marks the 32nd anniversary of Marvin Gaye's passing

Born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C, Marvin Gaye began his career as a session drummer before becoming one of the greatest male solo artists of all-time. He recorded thirteen number one singles, seven number one albums, and his 1971 What's Going On is considered one of the greatest albums in history. Gaye was among the list of Motown Records superstars including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Lionel Richie.

Gaye was the consummate performer, composer and producer. and recorded duet albums with Ross, Tammi Terrell, Mary Wells, and Kim Weston. His numerous honors include the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and being inducted into the  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.

He died April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th birthday, after being shot by his father.

On November 13, 2015, Marvin Gaye: Volume Two 1966-1970, was released. The seven album box set includes his three duet albums with Tammi Terrell: United (1967), You're All I Need (1968), and Easy (1969).

Here are "20 Reasons Why Marvin Gaye Was The Prince of Motown."

01
of 20
February 28, 1996 - Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

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Marvin Gaye. Paul Natkin/WireImage

The late Marvin Gaye was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards on February 28, 1996 at the Shrine Auditorium  in Los Angeles, California.

02
of 20
September 27, 1990 - Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Marvin Gaye. Ebet Roberts/Redferns

The legacy of the late Marvin Gaye was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 27, 1990.

03
of 20
December 10, 1988 - NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame

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Marvin Gaye. Ebet Roberts/Redferns

The NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame inducted the late Marvin Gaye on December 10, 1988 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California.

04
of 20
January 21, 1987 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Marvin Gaye. Ebet Roberts/Redferns

On January 21, 1987, the late Marvin Gaye was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

05
of 20
March 25, 1983 - 'Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever'

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Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Gilles Petard/Redferns

On March 25, 1983, Marvin Gaye performed "What's Going On" for the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special which was taped at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. The show also featured Michael Jackson and The Jacksons, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Lionel Richie and The Commodores, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Temptations, and The Four Tops.

06
of 20
February 23, 1983 - Two Grammy Awards

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Marvin Gaye. David Redfern/Redferns

On February 23, 1983, Marvin Gaye received the only two Grammy Awards of his career at the 25th annual Grammy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. He won Best R&B Vocal Performance - Male, and Best R&B Instrumental Performance, for "Sexual Healing."

07
of 20
February 13, 1983 - NBA All-Star Game 'Star Spangled Banner'

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Marvin Gaye singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the NBA All-Star Game on February 13, 1983 at the Forum in Los Angeles, California.b. NBA

On February 13, 1983, Marvin Gaye performed one of the most original, and unforgettable versions of the National Anthem at the 33rd annual NBA All-Star Game held at The Forum in Los Angeles, California.

08
of 20
January 17, 1983 - American Music Award

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Marvin Gaye with his son Frankie Christian and daughter Nona Gaye. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On January 17, 1983, Marvin Gaye won Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "Sexual Healing" at the 10th annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California.

09
of 20
October 1982 - 'Midnight Love' album

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Marvin Gaye. Gilles Petard/Redferns

After leaving Motown Records to sign with Columbia Records, Marvin Gaye released his final studio album, Midnight Love, in October 1982. The album sold over six million copies worldwide and featured his number one hit "Sexual Healing" which won two Grammy Awards the following year.

10
of 20
March 15, 1977 - 'Live at the London Palladium' album

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Marvin Gaye performing in London. David Corio/Redferns

On March 15, 1977, Marvin Gaye released his Live at the London Palladium double album. It reached number one and featured the chart topping hit, "Got To Give It Up."

11
of 20
March 16, 1976 - 'I Want You' album

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Marvin Gaye. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On March 16, 1976, Marvin Gaye released his I Want You album, The album and the title song both reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts.

12
of 20
October 26, 1973 - 'Marvin and Diana' album

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Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye. RB/Redferns

On October 26, 1973, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross released their duet album, Marvin and Diana. It featured the top five single, "You're A Special Part Of Me."

13
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August 28, 1973 - 'Let's Get It On' album

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'Let's Get It On' album. Motown Records

On August 28, 1973, Marvin Gaye released his Let's Get It On album which became his best-selling Motown release. It remained at number one for eleven weeks on the Billboard R&B chart. The title song was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, and was number one on the R&B chart for eight weeks.

14
of 20
May 21, 1971 - 'What's Going On' album

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'What's Going On' album. Motown Records

On May 21, 1971, Marvin Gaye released his signature album, What's Going On. It was a concept album about a Vietnam War veteran returning to America and experiencing injustice, suffering and hatred. It was the first album Gaye wrote and produced entirely by himself. It included three consecutive number one hits: "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," and the title song. In 2003, The Library of Congress selected What's Going On for inclusion in the National Registry.

15
of 20
1971 - Two NAACP Image Awards

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Marvin Gaye. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1971, Marvin Gaye received two awards at the 5th NAACP Image Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, California. He won Outstanding Male Artist and Outstanding Album for What's Going On.

16
of 20
October 30, 1968 - "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"

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Marvin Gaye. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On October 30, 1968, Marvin Gaye released "I Heard it Through The Grapevine." The song was a major hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips in 1967, and Gaye's version was even more successful, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B chart.

Gaye's recording was actually recorded first, but then it was rejected by Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. So, the song's composer and  producer, Norman Whitfield, recorded it with Knight and The Pips. Gaye's version was included on his In The Groove album, and was finally released as a single after it began receiving radio airplay from disc jockeys around the country. The song was inducted into Grammy Hall of Fame.

17
of 20
August 1968 - 'You're All I Need' album with Tammi Terrell

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Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye. GAB Archive/Redferns

In August 1968, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released their second duet album, You're All I Need. It included the number one hits "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" and "You're All I Need To Get By," both composed by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

18
of 20
August 29, 1967 - 'United' album with Tammi Terrell

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Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Echoes/Redferns

On August 29, 1967, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released their first duet album, United. It featured the classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," as well as additional hits "You're Precious Love," "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You," and "If This World Were Mine."

19
of 20
May 23, 1966 - 'Moods of Marvin Gaye' album

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Marvin Gaye. Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On May 23, 1966, Marvin Gaye released his seventh studio album, Moods of Marvin Gaye, The album featured his first two number one R&B hits, "I'll Be Doggone" and "Ain't That Peculiar." Both were composed by Smokey Robinson.

20
of 20
October 28, 1964 - 'TAMI Show'

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Marvin Gaye performing at the TAMI Show on October 28, 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On October 28, 1964, Marvin Gaye taped a performance for the historic TAMI Show movie at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. He sang four songs: "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow," "Hitch Hike," "Pride and Joy," and "Can I Get A Witness." Gaye joined his fellow Motown artists The Supremes and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles who also appeared in the film, along with The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, James Brown, Chuck Berry, and more.