- Started singing at the age of 3 in his father's church.
- First hit record, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow," came in 1962 when he was with the Motown label.
- Had numerous duet partners, but his most successful singing partnership was with Tammi Terrell, beginning in 1967.
- His groundbreaking 1971 album What's Going On, which featured songs with political and social messages, changed the direction of R&B music.
- Wrote the score for the movie Trouble Man in 1972.
- At the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, rendered a crowd-pleasing, soulful version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
- Was shot to death by his father in 1984.
- 1982, Grammy — Best R&B Instrumental Performance: Winner
- 1982, Grammy — Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male: Winner
- Marvin Pentz Gay Sr. — Father
- Frankie Gaye — Brother
- Marvin Pentz Gaye III — Son
- Frankie Gaye — Son
- Anna Gordy — Ex-wife
- Zeola Gaye — Sister
- Janis Hunter — Ex-wife
- Jeanne Gay — Sister
- Nona Gaye — Daughter
- Alberta Cooper Gay — Mother
- Michael Cooper — Half Brother
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