01 April 1984 – American entertainer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father in Los Angeles.
Marvin Gaye, born 2 April 1939 Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. – a well known soul singer-songwriter-producer who, to a large extent, ushered in the era of artist-controlled popular music of the 1970s.
Gaye’s father was a storefront preacher; his mother was a domestic worker. Gaye sang in his father’s Evangelical church in Washington, D.C., and became a member of a nationally known doo-wop group, the Moonglows.
Gaye’s growing addiction to cocaine exacerbated his psychological struggles. Deeply indebted to the Internal Revenue Service, he fled the country, living in exile in England and Belgium, where he wrote “Sexual Healing” (1982), the song that signaled his comeback and led to his only competitive Grammy Award.
Back in Los Angeles, his home from the 1970s, his essential conflict—between the sacred and secular—grew more intense. His 1983 “Sexual Healing” tour, his last, was marked by chaos and confusion.
On April 1, 1984, during a family dispute, Gaye initiated a violent fight with his father, who shot him to death. Those close to the singer theorized that it was a death wish come true. For months before, he had toyed with suicide. Gaye, who cited Ray Charles as one of his biggest influences was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 1996.
His popular hits — mainly songs written and produced by others, included:
“I’ll Be Doggone” (1965), by Smokey Robinson, and
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968), by Norman Whitfield.
Gaye also enjoyed a series of successful duets, most notably with Tammi Terrell (“Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” ).