The great Soul icon Marvin Gaye whose enduring music has influenced countless artists in a variety of genres would have celebrated his 80th birthday this past week on April 2. He died at the age of 44 in 1984.
To honor the late pop star, the U.S. Postal Service has commemorated the “Prince of Soul” with a new Forever Postage Stamp, part of the Postal Service Music Icons series whose other honorees have included Ray Charles, Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Elvis, Sarah Vaughan and John Lennon. The artwork for this stamp features a portrait of Marvin Gaye inspired by historic photographs. Gaye’s name appears vertically on the right side of the stamp.
Additionally, Motown recently released Marvin Gaye’s “lost” follow-up to 1971 classic What’s Going On. You’re the Man features all of Gaye’s solo and non-soundtrack recordings from 1972.
And vintage footage of a live Marvin Gaye performance in Houston, Texas was recently uncovered featuring our own Paulette McWilliams. The clip shows Gaye singing a medley of his hit songs with McWilliams featured along with his background singers. Gaye later offers Paulette a featured spotlight saying, “we’d like to call to the stage now … the services of the lovely young lady who just sung her heart out there. Come on Houston, give a big round of applause for Miss Paulette McWilliams.”
“I’m so thrilled and excited to have found this piece of musical history with one of my musical heroes,” says McWilliams. “It was an honor and a privilege to share the stage with Marvin. He’ll remain in my heart forever.”