Marvin Gaye, Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. was born on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C. to a church minister father, Marvin Gay Sr. and mother Alberta Gay.
Despite being born into poverty, he became one of the biggest Motown, blues, and soul singers in the 60s. He was also known as the Prince of Soul and Motown.
In later life, he changed his surname to Gaye, and by adding the ‘e,’ he could separate himself from his father carrying the same name.
His relationship with his father had always been troubled and abusive, and this small detail became more important later.
Marvin Gaye cause of death: How did Marvin Gaye die?
Marvin Gaye died on April 1, 1984, a day before his 45th birthday, from a gunshot wound to the heart and shoulder.
His father shot him due to a build-up of tension and apparent jealousy. Gaye had been suffering from cocaine addiction, which made him delusional and afraid.
A few months before the event, he had handed the gun to his father, feeling paranoid that someone was going to kill him.
On that fateful day, as he sat with his mother, enjoying a laugh despite feeling unwell, his father became more agitated by Gaye as the doorbell kept ringing.
His father, a preacher, had raised his children to be obedient and respectful despite his many shortcomings, including a fetish for cross-dressing and drinking too much at times.
The tension of nearly 45 years was at a boiling point that day, and before anyone realized it, Gaye had been shot dead by his father.
Marvin Gaye began singing at the age of four at his father’s church. His father was the preacher, and his son was the esteemed choir boy with a deeply soulful voice. Gaye’s father was unconventional, especially for the times.
He would dress in women’s clothing in front of the children and his wife and walk around the home dressed this way.
Gaye found this confusing, coupled with his father’s brutal method of parenting, which wove a disconnected and angry thread throughout his life.
Gaye had also two half-siblings resulting from his mother’s previous relationship and his father’s extramarital affairs.
In the late 50s and early 60s, Gaye had purchased the house he and his parents called home, which made his father feel threatened and jealous.
He was also afraid that his son was whittling money away on drugs and his ex-wife and was worried that his home and future were on the line.
Gay Sr. became enraged by what he perceived as his son’s complete disrespect for him as his father.
He was also jealous of the singer’s relationship with his mother, which was much more easygoing and relaxed than his relationship with his son.