Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye, born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (1939 – 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”, and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and Tammi Terrell. He earned the titles “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul”.

In 1956, at 17 Gaye dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Air Force. According to his superiors, Gaye was uncooperative and lackadaisical. A military chaplain stated that he “has no future value to the Air Force.” When disciplinary efforts failed, Gaye (who later added an “e” to his surname) faked mental illness. He was given a General Discharge in 1957.

Medic has obtained a copy of the Official Military Personnel Files of Marvin Gaye from the National Archives. Reports and memos concerning Gaye’s refusal to obey orders are scattered throughout the record, which is broken down into File 1, File 2, File 3.

According to Gaye, when he was 13 his brother shot him in the eye with a slingshot, an injury that led to an operation to correct his vision, which is noted in his military files.

From childhood Gaye’s relationship with his father, a minister and cross dresser given to cruelty, was marked by violence. On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gay Sr., after a lengthy argument with his wife and Gaye, fatally shot his son at their home in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. At his trial Gay Sr. accepted a plea deal of voluntary manslaughter in exchange for a six year suspended sentence and five years probation.

Since his death, Marvin Gaye has received numerous awards and honors—including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

wikipedia: Marvin Gaye and the death of Marvin Gaye