California

The murder of Marvin Gaye

April 1, 1984
Los Angeles, California
The “Prince of Soul” Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his father following an argument

Gaye is best remembered for his soulful songs including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Let’s Get It On,” “Sexual Healing,” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” among many others.

Gaye had intervened in a fight between his parents, Marvin Gay Sr. and Alberta Gay, minutes before he was killed. Gay Sr. entered Gaye’s bedroom and shot his son in the heart and left shoulder. Gaye was pronounced dead on arrival at California Hospital Medical Center. Gay Sr. was initially charged with first-degree murder, though the charge was reduced to voluntary manslaughter after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was sentenced to a six-year suspended sentence and probation, and died in a nursing home in 1998.

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