Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was a singer, songwriter and musician. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records, first as an in house session player in the 1960s and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and I Heard It Through the Grapevine.
During the 1970s, he recorded the concept albums What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown to break away from the reins of his production company. Gaye’s later recordings influenced several R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo-soul. Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit Sexual Healing and the Midnight Love album.
On April 1, 1984, Gaye’s father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed Gaye with awards and other honors—including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2008, Gaye’s estate earned $3.5 million. As a result, Gaye took 13th place in ‘Top-Earning Dead Celebrities’ in Forbes magazine. On March 11 2015, Gaye’s family was awarded $7.3 million in damages following a decision by an eight-member jury in Los Angeles that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had breached copyright by incorporating part of Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up” into their hit “Blurred Lines”.