In honor of what would have been the timeless Marvin Gaye’s 74th birthday on April 2, the following list consists of his five most iconic songs that spread across generations and still influence artists today:
1. "What's Going On" (1971)
Everything about this prophetic song embodies Gaye’s greatness, ultimately because the lyrics depict what is occurring in our society today.
2. "Sexual Healing" (1982)
Arguably his biggest hit that allowed him to acquire two Grammy Awards in 1983, one for the Best R&B Male Vocal Performance and the other for the Best R&B Instrumental).
3. "Let's Get It On" (1973)
You’ll find this song in commercials and movies as well as weddings of all sorts. It is the perfect party song, for the young or for the old, for the black or for the white. You can’t listen to this song without finishing it with a feel good feeling.
4. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1968)
Perhaps I’m including this on my list because it is my mother’s all time favorite. All ages, genders and races recognize this song, and in fact many artists have recorded their own renditions of the song, none of which will ever compare to the original. This is one of Gaye's most recognizable, and beloved, songs of all-time. The song became so popular in fact, that numerous artists have re-recorded their own renditions, not that any of them can compare to the original.
5. "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" (1964)
Everyone definitely knows a couple who had this song as their wedding song. It was an instant hit when it was released in 1964, and continues to be so into today as it too has been re-recorded by more recent artists.