We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Marvin Gaye, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating details about the iconic musician’s life that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: He Gave His Father the Gun That Killed Him. Gaye had a very troubled relationship with his father, but one year for Christmas, he gave his parents a .38 caliber revolver so they could protect themselves if they needed to. However, on April 1, 1984, Gaye got into an argument with his parents. Gaye’s father came into his room and shot him with that same gun – twice. Gaye died the next day.
Number Seven: He Was Not Always “Gaye.” In reality, Marvin was born Marvin Gay, but he added the extra “e” so people would not make fun of him or question his sexuality.
Number Six: Before He Was a Singer, He Was a Drummer. Gaye spent his earlier years at Motown as a drummer for The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and several other bands.
Number Five: He Wanted to Be an NFL Player. Gaye took a hiatus from music, at which point he explored some new hobbies. One of these hobbies was playing football, and Gaye had dreams of joining the NFL. Specifically, he wanted to be a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. However, the coach of the Lions loved his singing so much that he didn’t want to risk Gaye getting hurt, so he did not even let him try out.
Number Four: He Is an Official Member of the Motown Family. Gaye’s first wife was named Anna, and she was the oldest sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy. This relation means that Gaye was part of the actual Motown family.
Number Three: He Attempted Suicide Three Times. Gaye suffered from both substance abuse and depression, which led him to attempt to kill himself three times. He tried shooting himself in 1969 (he was stopped by Berry Gordy), he tried overdosing on cocaine in 1979, and the week of his actual death, he jumped out of a moving car, but he only incurred minor injuries.
Number Two: His Career Almost Ended Due to His Partner’s Death. When Tammi Terrell died, Gaye vowed never to sing with another person on stage ever again. He finally reemerged with What’s Going On.
Number One: He Has His Own Holiday. After he died, the mayor of Washington, D.C. made Gaye’s birthday, April 2, Marvin Gaye Day.