Marvin Gaye had a successful music career and helped spread the word on the Motown music scene in the 1960s. Gaye has had countless hits throughout his career, although his life ended prematurely after he was killed by his own father in 1984.
Gaye faced a number of difficulties in his life, including filing for bankruptcy once for alimony to an ex.
Marvin Gaye performs in Indiana in 1983 | Paul Natkin / Getty Images
Marvin Gaye is one of the faces of Motown
Gaye helped spread the word about the Motown sound. His success began with him as a songwriter, although he eventually became a solo artist and produced sounds that are streamed to this day. Gaye had hits like “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and “I Heard It Through the Vine”. The latter eventually became Gaye’s first song to hit # 1. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.
Marvin Gaye continued to enjoy great success from then on, releasing What’s Going On in 1970. Only a few years later came another of his greatest hits with “Let’s Get It On”. The song, which was part of the album of the same name, has remained one of the most popular songs in history. At the time, the album stayed in the charts for two years. Gaye’s success continued for another decade, and the song “Sexual Healing” became popular in 1983.
Marvin Gaye performs in Belgium in 1981 | Gie Knaeps / Getty Images
CONNECTED: How Marvin Gaye upset Diana Ross while recording her duet album
Marvin Gaye once filed for bankruptcy for alimony
Gaye quickly became one of the most successful artists of his time. Back in 1971, after a massive success as a Motown artist, Gaye signed a recording deal worth $ 1 million – more than $ 6 million today. The deal later made him one of the highest earning black musicians of his time.
Gaye met Anna Gordy, the sister of Berry Gordy (known as the founder of Motown), back in 1959. He was only 20 years old, but the two got on straight away. The couple married until 1963. They adopted a child together (the son of Gordy’s niece), but it wasn’t enough to save their marriage. Gordy filed for divorce in 1975 after two years of separation.
Gaye was ordered to pay his wife $ 600,000 because of the separation. Gaye defaulted on alimony and ended up filing for bankruptcy. The payments were supposed to come from royalties on Gaye’s 1976 album “Here, My Dear”. Gaye also reportedly battled drug problems, which also led to bankruptcy. According to Business Insider, Gaye Gordy reportedly still owed nearly $ 300,000 at the time of his death in 1984.
Anna Gordy Gaye and her son Marvin Gaye III, 1987 | Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images
Marvin Gaye suffered a tragic fate when he died in 1984
Gaye’s life of fame and fortune seemed perfect on the outside, but struggled inside. He had no money and a strained relationship with his father. On April 1, 1984, Gaye was visiting his parents when his mother and father started arguing. Gaye entered, but Gaye’s father shot him twice due to his intervention.
Gaye died when he reached the hospital. His death came just the day before his 45th birthday.