Marvin Gaye: The King of Soul

The music genre’s of R&B and Soul emerged in the 60’s and 70’s and along with it came Marvin Gaye, he is known to be the King of soul and Motown. 

  • Marvin Pentz Gay known as (Marvin Gaye) was born in April of 1939 in Washington D.C. Gaye produced records, created his own music, and wrote songs for himself and various other artists throughout the ’60s and ’70s. 
  • Gaye started his singing career at just four years old at his family’s church (Pentecostal). And continuing into his early teens he joined his Junior HighSchool’s Glee Club. He realized that he could use his voice to express himself and get others to tune into his talent. 

In 1962 Gaye and his friend Reese Palmer came together and formed their own group known as The Marquees but after dropping off the charts. Gaye went solo on composing his own music. When he released his very first single his listeners were quick to make jokes about his last name (Gay) and this led to him adding the e to Gay making it (Gaye). In ’62 his first solo hit reached no.8 on the R&B  chart. And made Gaye optimistic about his music career. 

Gaye's international Hits and the purpose of Soul.

In 1963 Gaye released his single “Can I get a Witness”

 which was recorded live on stage. This was the first song that reached people across the world. Soul music was made to touch your soul and compelled  listeners to get up, dance, and sing along with the singer.

In the 70's ..

Marvin Gaye released two more songs that made it to the top ten. And the album “What’s Going on” was cited as “The most important  and passionate record to come out of soul music” by a writer. -Stated by Wikipedia. Gaye was prized 2 Grammy awards for the album and later signed a deal with Motown for 1 million dollars. 

Altogether Marvin Gaye came out of his early adulthood making music that his audience could relate and, relax to. The beginning of his career was rocky and his audience was not of large size but, over time his music received the attention and love that it deserved.  Because of Gaye people across the world have an ear for the soul. And he will always are remembered for his contribution to the black community and the music industry. 

Work Cited

“Marvin Gaye.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Oct. 2020, 


“Marvin Gaye.”, A&E Networks Television, 28 Oct. 2019, 




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