In the 50th anniversary year of Motown, April 2, 2009 will mark the 70th birthday of the late great Marvin Gaye. Sadly, April 1 will also mark the 25th anniversary of his tragic death the day before his 45th birthday. Motown's top solo male artist of the '60s, led by his "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"—at one time the biggest selling single in Motown history—Gaye became the label's most revolutionary artist in the '70s, breaking down barriers whether singing about the body or the soul, social consciousness or sexual politics. From his '60s classic "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," to his legendary rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, he defined the soul in "soul music."
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