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On this Day in Movie/Music History April 1, 1985: Marvin Gaye Fatally Shot Dies

On this day April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye fatally wounded by his father dies. He was one day from being 45 years of age Born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye (he added the ‘e’ as a young man), he was an American singer-songwriter and musician with a three-octave vocal range.

Starting his career as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late 1950s, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960, signing with Motown Records subsidiary, Tamla. After a self-imposed European exile in the early 1980s, Gaye returned on the 1982 Grammy-Award winning hit, “Sexual Healing” and the Midnight Love album before his death. Gaye was shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984.

According to several historians, Marvin Gaye’s career “spanned the entire history of rhythm and blues from fifties doo-wop to eighties contemporary soul.” Marvin’s usage of multi-tracked vocalizing, recording songs of social, political and sexual issues, and producing albums of autobiographical nature have influenced a generation of recording artists of various genres.

As an artist who broke away from the controlled atmosphere of Motown Records in the 1970s, he influenced the careers of label mates such as Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers and, later in Epic Records, Michael Jackson to gain creative control and produce/co-produce their own albums.

The careers of later R&B stars such as Rick James, Prince, R. Kelly, D’Angelo, Raheem DeVaughn, Maxwell, Janet Jackson, George Michael, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Bobby V,Trey Songz and J. Holiday also were influenced by the music of Marvin Gaye. Modern-day artists such as Teena Marie and Mary J. Blige have also referenced Marvin in their own songs.

In 2008, the American music magazine Rolling Stone ranked Gaye at number 6 on its list of the Greatest Singers of All Time, and ranked at number 18 on 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He was also ranked at number 20 on VH1′s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time In 1987, Marvin Gaye Jr. was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005, Marvin Gaye Jr. was admitted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, his hit duet with Tammi Terrell, was voted a Legendary Michigan Song in 2011.

1885 – Wallace (Fitzgerald) Beery (Academy Award-winning actor: The Champ [1931-1932], Grand Hotel, We’re in the Navy Now, Treasure Island, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Last of the Mohicans, China Seas; died Apr 15, 1949)

1920 – Toshiro Mifune (actor: Shadow of the Wolf, Shogun, Winter Kills, 1941, Midway, Paper Tiger, Red Sun, The Bad Sleep Well, Throne of Blood, Samurai series, Rashomon, Drunken Angel; died Dec 24, 1997)

1928 – George Grizzard (actor: Advise and Consent, Bachelor Party, False Witness, The Stranger Within, Scarlett; died Oct 2, 2007)

1929 – Jane Powell (Suzanne Burce) (actress: Deep in My Heart, Hit the Deck, Small Town Girl, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)

1932 – Gordon Jump (actor: WKRP in Cincinnati, Sister Kate, Growing Pains, Bitter Vengeance, Ransom Money, Making the Grade, Dirkham Detective Agency; died Sep 22, 2003)

1932 – Debbie Reynolds (Mary Frances Reynolds) (actress: Singin’ in the Rain, Tammy and the Bachelor, The Tender Trap, The Unsinkable Molly Brown; singer: Tammy, A Very Special Love; mother of actress, Carrie Fisher)

1938 – Ali (Alice) MacGraw (actress: Goodbye Columbus, Love Story, The Getaway, The Winds of War)

1952 – Annette O’Toole (Toole) (actress: Imaginary Crimes, Love Matters, White Lie, Broken Vows, Superman III, 48 Hrs., Cat People, Smile)

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