How Marvin Gaye was beaten, hungry, and abused by the father of a cross-dressing preacher who shot him at close range

He was a soul legend who used his sex symbol status to spread the message of peace and love through music.

However, Marvin Gaye died brutally in the hands of his own father-shot at close range in the bedroom of their Los Angeles home.


Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father in 1984Credit: Redferns

It was a tragic finale to the fierce relationship between the singer and his father, Marvin Sr. Marvin Sr. frequently beat his son, starved his children, and abused his wife.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of What’s Going On, an iconic protest album against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and racial riots across the United States.

The album was released on May 21, 1971, contrary to the wishes of Motown boss Berry Gordy Jr. Berry Gordy Jr. hated political implications, but is now considered one of the most important musical pieces of the 20th century.

It also marked the highest point of 25 years Marvin Gaye Career-closely associated with feminization, drug addiction, and an increase in paranoia, ended in tragedy the day before her 45th birthday.

Here we will look at the tragic life and brutal death of one of the greatest icons of the soul.

Marvin Gaye Sr. arrested for shooting


Marvin Gaye Sr. arrested for shootingCredit: AP: Associated Press
The iconic protest album is 50 years old this week


The iconic protest album is 50 years old this week

Unwanted and unloved by dad

Marvin Sr. was a preacher at the Hebrew Pentecostal Church in Washington, DC, and was a member of the Strict Christian God’s House, which banned sleeveless dresses, open-toed shoes, makeup, movies, and television.

In 1935, when he married 20-year-old Alberta Cooper, she was already a young mother, but refused to raise another boy, and he gave her baby Michael to live with her sister. I forced you to send it.

The couple had four children in 1939, and Marvin Jr. was born second.

According to Alberta, hostility towards his eldest son began before he was born.

“My husband never wanted Marvin, and he never liked him,” she said.

“He said he didn’t really think he was his child. I told him it was nonsense. He knew Marvin was him.

“But for some reason he didn’t love Marvin. To make matters worse, he didn’t want me to love Marvin either. Marvin wasn’t that old before he understood it. did.”

Marvin with his parents in 1972 after gaining fame


Marvin with his parents in 1972 after gaining fameCredit: Getty

Being beaten and starving, “approaching God”

Despite his strict religious beliefs, Marvin Sr. is an excessive drinker, feminine, engaged in countless extramarital negotiations, and had another woman and a child behind Alberta. It was.

He also liked to wear women’s clothes and shoes.

But the most serious impact on Marvin was the violent outburst and brutality of his children.

The four children were forced to freely quote passages from the Bible, and if they made a mistake, they would be badly beaten-and Marvin got most of the abuse.

From the age of seven to his teens, his sister Jeanne said Marvin’s life was “a series of brutal whipping.”

He also withheld food from his children, claiming that their hunger “brought them closer to God.”

Marvin told his biographer, David Ritz:

Marvin Jr.’s proximity to his mother infuriated the tyrant’s father. The father punished Alberta for paying attention to his son and accused him of having an incestuous relationship.

When Marvin’s singing talent began to attract attention, his father refused to support any ambition to enter the music industry while Alberta quietly encouraged him.

“If I hadn’t had a mother who was always there to comfort me and praise my song, I would have been one of the child suicides you read in the treatise,” Marvin told David Ritz.

Marvin signs with Motown, home of Stevie Wonder


Marvin signs with Motown, home of Stevie WonderCredit: Rex Features

Relationship between teens and adopted children

At the age of 17, Marvin fled his home and joined the US Air Force, but a few months later he was discharged falsely for mental illness.

Returning to Washington, he joined the vocal group and began working as a back singer before signing with The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson’s hometown of Tamura Motown in 1960.

At the same time, he added an “e” to the original gay name. This is to block speculation about his sexuality and keep him away from his abusive father.

Over the next few years, Marvin performed number one solos, including Ain’t That Peculiar, and a series of hit duets with Tammi Terrell, including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and You’re All I Need to Get By.

Marriage with Anna Gordy, sister of Motown founder Berry, solidified her relationship with the record label in 1963.

A friend commented that he reminded him of his 11-year-old senior, a 35-year-old mother, but Marvin soon became obsessed with a relationship with a much younger woman.

When her 16-year-old niece, Dennis Gordy, became pregnant, Anna forged her pregnancy and the couple adopted her son, Marvin III, to avoid scandals.

The singer was suspected of being his real father, but this has not been confirmed.

However, his relationship with another teenager, 17-year-old Janice Hunter, ended his marriage in 1973. Four years later, he married Janice.

Anna Gordy was Marvin's first wife


Anna Gordy was Marvin’s first wifeCredits: Getty-Contributors
Anna adopted her son Marvin III after her niece became pregnant


Anna adopted her son Marvin III after her niece became pregnantCredit: Getty

Drug addiction and abusive marriage

As gay fame grew, so did his dependence on drugs and his increasingly volatile behavior.

At one point, while the coke was high, he told Janice to join another couple and trio while he was watching, and then brutally cursed her by calling her a “hot animal.” did.

She also claimed to have complained about her stretch marks and sagging breasts, even though she was 22 years old, after she gave birth to two children (Nona and Frankie).

The marriage ended two years after his abuse became physical.

“He took a knife and put it in my throat,” Janice wrote in her book, After The Dance. “I was petrified and paralyzed. I thought it was over.”

Marvin told her: This love is killing me. Please provoke me. Now you can provoke me and free both of us from the dire situation. “

Shortly thereafter, he tried to commit suicide by swallowing nearly 30 grams of pure cocaine while making a fuss in Hawaii.

Janice was just 17 when Marvin started her relationship


Janice was just 17 when Marvin started her relationshipCredit: Getty
The couple had two children, Nona and Frankie


The couple had two children, Nona and FrankieCredit: Getty

Debt and depression

Increasingly drug-dependent, Marvin is now living in an old bread delivery van, with heavy debt by paying £ 3 million in U.S. taxes and £ 425,000 to Anna Gordy as part of a divorce settlement. I did.

The singer fled to Belgium as a tax asylum, managed to kick the cocaine habit before releasing the 1982 comeback single Sexual Healing, and returned to the United States a year later for a winning tour.

However, his return rekindled his love for drugs, and after buying a mansion for his parents in Los Angeles, he moved to fight addiction.

He also became more and more delusional, hiring a bodyguard and wearing a bulletproof vest, telling his brother, “I will die … I will be poisoned or shot.”

Ironically, it was his relationship with his father that ended his days. Living under the same roof, the pair was so unstable that his sister moved to escape from the line.

Marvin was depressed and committed suicide, trying to commit suicide at least once.

On the night of April 1, 1984, Marvin Sr was furious in Alberta over his lost insurance policy, and Marvin, who was protecting his mother in his bedroom, beat and kicked his father.

After a while, Marvin Sr quietly returned to his bedroom with a .38 revolver, a Christmas present from his son, and shot his chest twice.

“My husband didn’t say anything, he just pointed his gun at Marvin,” Alberta said.

“I screamed, but it was very fast. My husband shot – and Marvin screamed. I tried to run. Marvin went to the floor after the first shot. I slipped down. “

The singer was declared dead in the hospital within an hour.

The singer's body is carried from home on a stretcher


The singer’s body is carried from home on a stretcherCredit: AP: Associated Press
Marvin Gaye collapses in court


Marvin Gaye collapses in courtCredit: Getty

Frankie, an older brother who lived next door, hugged him when he died, and the last word was, “I got what I wanted … I couldn’t do it myself, so I let him do it.” Insisted.

In court, Marvin Sr. claimed that he acted in self-defense, saying: I was afraid of him. I was going to get hurt. I’m really sorry for everything that happened. I loved him. “

He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to six years with suspended sentence. He died in 1998.

LA Mansion where the singer was shot


LA Mansion where the singer was shotCredit: Google Maps
Alberta is supported by a family at a singer's funeral


Alberta is supported by a family at a singer’s funeralCredit: Getty

What’s Going On, the title track of the original album, pleads: You don’t have to escalate. ” “Don’t punish me for brutality.”

Tragically, while his message of peace was alive, Marvin Gaye’s own life was shortened by the savage brutality of his cruel father.

The moment Marvin Gaye’s dad was sentenced to death after shooting him

How Marvin Gaye was beaten, hungry, and abused by the father of a cross-dressing preacher who shot him at close range

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