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He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, but his story is a story of family turmoil ending in tragedy.
Gaye was born as Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. in Washington, 1932. His father, Marvin Gay Sr., was a Church minister who zealously disciplined his son. Gaye began singing in Gay Sr.'s church at the age of four, accompanied by his father on the piano. However his home life consisted of brutal whippings. His domestic worker mother consoled him and encouraged his singing. Gaye described his father as "a very peculiar, changeable, cruel and all powerful king".
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