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Sunday, 25 October, 1998, 21:56 GMT
Marvin Gaye's father and killer dies
The death of Marvin Gaye's father received coverage in the UK press
The death of Marvin Gaye's father received coverage in the UK press
The father of the singer Marvin Gaye has died, some 14 years after he shot and killed his son during a family argument.

Marvin Gay senior, the correct spelling of the family name was without an 'e' at the end of their surname, died in hospital after developing pneumonia at a retirement home in long beach, California.

Marvin snr had shot his son at their Los Angeles home in April of 1984.

Throughout much of his life, Marvin snr had had a troubled relationship with his son, who was to become one of the leading black performers of all time.

A church pastor

Marvin snr had been a pastor in the Hebrew Pentecostal Church, in a suburb of Washington DC, and the church naturally became a focal point for the entire family.


But despite this religious vocation, he proved perhaps unconventional as a pastor, showing a liking for dressing up in women's clothing.

From childhood days, Marvin snr and his son had a tempestuous relationship with some contemporaries saying the pastor resented the applause his son's singing would receive, adulation his church sermons never seemed to gather.

Conviction for manslaughter

Following the shooting of Marvin Gaye, the day before his 45th birthday, Marvin snr was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and given a six-year suspended prison sentence.

For a sublime insight into how Marvin Gaye, perhaps rather bizarrely, lived in Ostend, in Belgium, for a short period in the early 1980s, then look out for a BBC documentary, Trouble Man.

Using rare footage of the singer in and around Ostend, the documentary charts Marvin's time in the coastal port as he tried to clean himself up from drug and alcohol use and went on to write one of his biggest successes ever, Sexual Healing.

It was when he returned to Los Angeles that he returned to using cocaine, became enveloped in paranoia and was eventually shot dead.

Marvin snr died on 18 October.

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