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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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