We admit we were a little surprised. When we asked YOU who was the top R&B Male Artist of All Time, we expected the obvious – Stevie. Michael. Luther. Instead, when the votes were tallied, Marvin Pentz Gaye came out on top and won handily, taking 35% of the vote. Luther Vandross and Micheal Jackson took the t #2 and #3 spots out of our 12 worthy nominees. But why should we be so surprised? Gaye is worthy of the title.
Though Gaye struggled throughout his life with drugs and relationships and was shot and killed by his own father, his legacy has transcended his untimely death. There are other icons who are more accomplished musicians and singer/songwriters like Donny Hathaway, more classic songwriters, but Gaye had something that was uniquely his. He created one of the greatest socially conscious albums of all time in 1971’s”What’s Going On” and one of the greatest lovemaking albums of all time in 1976’s”I Want You.” In 1978, Gaye also, very famously, recorded an album to settle an acrimonious divorce from his ex-wife Anna Gordy. He called it “Here, My Dear.”
Gaye first married Gordy, Motown head Berry Gordy’s sister, who was almost two decades older, then married Janis Hunter, a much younger teenager when they met. They had two children – actress/musician Nona Gaye and her brother Frankie, but later divorced.
Gaye was one of the biggest Motown stars who didn’t originally hail from Detroit as he was born and raised in Washington, D.C. One of R&B’s most versatile artists, his output was prodigious. Like most musicians of the era, Gaye released a great deal of music and did so in multiple genres. Gaye wanted to be a crooner in the Nat King Cole/Frank Sinatra tradition as he began his career in doo-wop. Much of his early music was in that vein. Starting in 1962, Gaye would earn 60 top 40 R&B records over the next 20 years. He recorded 17 solo studio albums, 7 duet albums with Tammi Terrell, Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Diana Ross, and four live albums. His last, “Midnight Love,” (1982)with it’s huge hit “Sexual Healing” revitalized a career marred by drug abuse, but sadly the triumph was short lived.
Gaye was a complicated man who had a difficult relationship with his father, a Pentecostal minister, his entire life. The senior Gay (Marvin added the “e” later on) was abusive to his son and fathered a child out of wedlock, though some of Gaye’s biographers have speculated that he may have struggled with his sexuality. Gaye’s heart-wrenching song “Piece of Clay” is likely about his own troubled parental relationship . On April 1, 1984, after an argument lasting over several days, Gaye was shot and killed instantly by his father. He was just 44 years old.
Contemporary R&B artists like Usher, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Musiq Soulchild, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and even R. Kelly and Trey Songz both of whom sang openly about sexual themes, owe their debt to Gaye’s musicianship and his creativity. Yet none of them have the combination of vulnerability, honesty, sexuality and social consciousness that made Gaye one of R&B’s most beloved artists. He is your choice for R&B Top Male Artist of All Time.
1968 “You’re All I Need” (with Tammi Terrell)
1971 “What’s Going On”
1976 “I Want You”
1982 “Midnight Love”
Watch his famous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the 1983 All-Star Game
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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