Marvin Gaye: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Marvin Gaye is known as one of the most sensual, bedroom tune-creating musicians of all time. Though the now late musician spent a lot of his career in the spotlight, there are still some things that most people do not know about him. Here, we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Marvin Gaye. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: He Started Singing at Age Four. Gaye’s father was a minister, so he was always surrounded by music. Even from such a young age, he had a love for music.

Number Fourteen: He Might Have Died Much Younger if Not for His Mother. He has admitted that he may have even killed himself if his mother was not there to nurture him and help him develop his talent.

Number Thirteen: He Broke the Law. When Gaye was just 17 years old, he enlisted in the United States Air Force after dropping out of high school altogether. He enlisted as a basic airman, but he was shot down by all of the menial tasks he was required to perform. To get out of his duties, he faked an illness so he would be discharged.

Number Twelve: He Worked as a Session Singer. Before he was famous, Gaye relocated to Chicago, Illinois to be a session singer with Harvey and The New Moonglows. He was introduced to Chuck Berry shortly thereafter, and he worked with Berry on “Back in the U.S.A.” and “Almost Grown.”

Number Eleven: He Worked With His Brother. Gaye’s brother was Frankie Gaye, and the two worked together, with his brother working on background vocals. Marvin would sometimes send Frankie out on stage while on tour together just so Frankie could gauge the crowd’s reaction.

Number Ten: What’s Going On Almost Never Happened. According to Gaye, the album was not very well-liked by Motown, so they were pushing to cancel it. He said that “Management said the songs were too long, too formless, and would get lost on a public looking for easy three-minute stories.” Gaye really had to push to get the album finally released.

Number Nine: He Made What’s Going On in 10 Days. Gaye was in a crunch to make the album, and he was able to create it in 10 days. He made the album after “What’s Going On” was released as a single and achieved monumental success.