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Marvin Gaye Net Worth 2020


Facts of Marvin Gaye

Full NameMarvin Gaye
First NameMarvin
Last NameGaye
Birth NameMarvin Pentz Gay Jr.
ProfessionSinger, Songwriter, Record Producer
Birth CityWashington, D.C.
Birth CountryUSA
Father NameMarvin Gay Sr.
Father ProfessionChurch Minister
Mother NameAlberta Cooper
Mother ProfessionDomestic Worker
Gender IdentityMale
Sexual OrientationStraight
Marital StatusDivorced
SpouseAnna Gordy, Janis Hunter
No Of Children3
FilmographyT.A.M.I. Show,The Ballad of Andy Crocker,Chrome and Hot Leather,Save the Children
EducationCardozo High School
Height185 cm
Date of BirthApril 2,1939
Age81 years

Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer who is popular for hit songs like Ain’t That Peculiar, How Sweet It Is, and I Heard It Through the Grapevine.

The Washington based singer began singing at the age of four from a local church. He released his first single titled Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide in May 1961 with his debut studio album The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye being released a month later.

Some of his other hit albums are Hello Broadway, Moods of Marvin Gaye, Trouble Man, In Our Lifetime, and Midnight Love.

A Short Life Story Of Marvin Gaye

Born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. on 2nd April 1939 in Washington, D.C., the United States of America to Marvin Gay Sr. and Alberta Cooper. Gaye held American nationality and had Afro-American descent.  

Marvin Gaye was an American singer-songwriter who was killed by his own fatherImage Source: The Independent
Marvin Gaye was an American singer-songwriter who was killed by his own father

Image Source: The Independent

He was brought up by his parents alongside his siblings: Jeanne, Zeola, and Frankie. He enrolled at Syphax Elementary School, Randall Junior High School, and the Spingarn High School before being transferred to Cardozo High School. 

Additional Fact: Marvin dropped out of high school and enlisted in the United States Air Force as a basic airman.

How Rich Was Marvin?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Marvin’s net worth was estimated to be at around -$9 million at the time of his death in 1984. As per various sources, Gaye was in debt to the tune of $9 million when he died.

Similarly, as per various reports, he sold the majority of his music royalty rights to Motown Records and left no will. Most of his debt was owed to the IRS for unpaid taxes.

The house where Marvin was killedImage Source: Flickr
The house where Marvin was killed

Image Source: Flickr

The late singer-songwriter owned a 3,156 square feet house in Hollywood Hills West estate. Gaye purchased the 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom house with his then-wife Anna in the mid-70s. Following his demise, Anna kept the house until 2008 and sold it for $1.91 million.

Here is a list of his earnings from his album sales:

YearAlbum NameEarnings
1968In The Groove$100,000
1971What’s Going On$800,000
1973Let’s Get It On$60,000
1973Diana & Marvin$1 million
1974Marvin Gaye Live$1 million
1976Marvin Gaye’s Greatest Hits$1 million
1977Live at the London Palladium$2 million
1982Midnight Love$6 million
1983Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye$1 million
2000Marvin Gaye: The Love Songs (following his death)$60,000
2002The Very Best of Marvin Gaye (following his death)$300,000

How Did He Start His Career?

Following his return from United States Air Force, he and his good friend Reese Palmer formed the vocal quartet The Marquees. The group began performing in the D.C. area and was assigned to OKeh Records. They released their sole single titled Wyatt Earp; however, the song failed to chart, and the group was dropped from the label.

The group was hired by Moonglows co-founder Harvey Fuqua and changed their name to Harvey and the New Moonglows under Fuqua’s direction. They recorded several songs, including Mama Loocie, which was Marvin’s first lead vocal recording.

Sadly the group disbanded in 1960, and Gaye relocated to Detroit with Fuqua. He was signed with Tri-Phi Records as a session musician and played drums on several Tri-Phi releases. He also performed at Motown president Berry Gordy’s house and was signed with MoTown subsidiary Tamla.

Marvin was 44-years-old when he diedImage Source: Esquire
Marvin was 44-years-old when he died

Image Source: Esquire

In May 1961, Gaye released his first single “Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide” with his debut album The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye released a month later. However, his initial release was a commercial failure.

His first hit solo Stubborn Kind of Fellow as released in September 1962. The song debuted at no.8 on the R&B chart and No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. His dance song “Hitch Hike” peaked at no.30 on the Hot 100 and Pride and Joy became his first top ten single in 1963. 

His second album, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow, was released in 1963 with hit singles like Soldier’s Plea, Stubborn Kind of Fellow, Hitch Hike, and Pride and Joy.c

Here is a list of Marvin’s hit albums and singles:

YearAlbum TitleSingles
1964When I’m Alone I CryYou’ve Changed, I Wonder, Because of You, I’ll Be Around
1965How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by YouYou’re a Wonderful One, Try It Baby, Baby Don’t You Do It
1966Moods of Marvin GayeOne More Heartache, Ain’t That Peculiar, Take This Heart of Mine
1970That’s the Way Love IsHow Can I Forget, Yesterday, Groovin, Cloud Nine
1973Let’s Get It OnLet’s Get It On, Come Get to This, You Sure Love to Ball
1981In Our LifetimeEgo Tripping Out, Praise, Heavy Love Affair
1982Midnight LoveSexual Healing, Til Tomorrow, Joy, My Love Is Waiting

In a similar way, some of his collaborative albums are Together with Mary Wells, Take Two with Kim Weston, United with Tammi Terrell, and Diana & Marvin with Diana Ross.

Apart from music, Gaye also appeared in films like T.A.M.I. Show, The Ballad of Andy Crocker, Chrome and Hot Leather, and Save the Children.

Who Was Gaye Married To?

The Midnight Love singer was married twice in his life. He first tied the knot with Anna Gordy in June 1963. While still together, the couple adopted a son Marvin III who was the son of Anna’s niece.

However, Anna separated from Marvin shortly and filed for divorce in November 1975. Their divorce was officially finalized in 1977.   

Marvin with his second wife Janis HunterImage Source: New York Post
Marvin with his second wife Janis Hunter

Image Source: New York Post

He then tied the knot to Janis Hunter in October 1977. The couple shared two children: daughter Nona and a son named Frankie. Gaye’s second marital life also came to an end when Janis filed for divorce in 1979. Their divorce was finalized in February 1981.      

How Did Marvin Gaye Die?

On 1st April 1984, the singer-songwriter got involved in a fight between his parents and was involved in a physical altercation with his father. Around 12:38 p.m., his father, Marvin Gay Sr. shot him in the heart and his left shoulder.  

The first shot was proved fatal, and Marvin was pronounced dead at 1:01 p.m. at California Hospital Medical Center. Following his funeral, his body was cremated at Forest Lawn Memorial Park at the Hollywood Hills. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

His father was charged with first-degree murder; however, his charged were dropped to voluntary manslaughter following a diagnosis of a brain tumor. Gay Sr. was later sentenced to a suspended six-year sentence and probation. He died at a nursing home in 1998.

Updated On Tue Feb 04 2020 Published On Sun Jan 12 2020 By Amy