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6 Songs From Icon Marvin Gaye That Capture The Essence of Black Love

6 Songs From Icon Marvin Gaye That Capture The Essence of Black Love

We miss you Marvin!

Marvin Gaye is an icon in every sense of the word, his music serving as the backdrop to so many moments in our lives. A genre-defining artist, Gaye’s hits were only eclipsed by his remarkable musical ability. His music inspired protests, parties, and became a symbol of the romanticism and passion of the ‘70s and ‘80s. When we think of Black excellence, when we think of Black love, it is Gaye who comes first to mind. Unfortunately, Gaye didn’t live long enough to see the full impact of his work, his life cut short on April 1, 1984, just one day before what would’ve been his 45th birthday, Encyclopedia Britannica reports. In honor of Gaye and all that he means to the culture, here are 6 songs from the icon that capture the essence of Black love.  

“What’s Going On”

A love letter to the Black community, Gaye used the perils and issues of the time to create a timeless ballad. Singing out against hate, war, violence, and oppression of any kind, when Marvin sings “You know we’ve got to find a way, to bring some lovin’ here today,” we all understood. 


"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

 An uplifting and soulful love song that celebrates the strength and resilience of Black love. Gaye’s passionate lyrics and Tammi Terrell’s vocals are a match made in heaven, making this song impossible not to sing along to. With a message of the power of love and how it can overcome any obstacle, this song is a staple for couples globally. 


"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"

 The beauty of Marvin was the sweetness and care in all of his songs. That level of vulnerability backdropped by catchy upbeat melodies is unmatched. We want to stop and thank you baby! This song will never grow old and it truly captures the essence. 


"I Want You"

This is a romantic ballad that captures the essence of true love and devotion. A bop, it has for sure been played at cookouts and parties for the last 4 decades. A song of deep longing and desire, Gaye’s voice is on full display with all the emotion and sincerity that his soulful talents can provide. This one is for the choosy lover in you and you’ll be dancing while professing your love, ok!


“You’re All I Need To Get By”

We could really just stop right here because this song is absolute perfection. If you’re ever getting married and not sure what to write for your vows, these are the lyrics. Black love personified, Gaye and Terrell had a string of hits that truly made us fall in love with love. This is the prototype for all Black love. Hands down. 


“Distant Lover”

An absolute dream of a song, whoever said absent made the heart grow fonder might have been correct. Perfectly capturing the ache of a love interrupted by space and time, the soul in this song is heavenly. By the time Gaye begin’s reminiscing on summer, our hearts are completely full and we are all going to get our beloveds back. 

Thank you Marvin. Continue to rest in sweet peace. We love you deeply!

Cover photo: 6 songs from icon Marvin Gaye that capture the essence of Black love/Photo Courtesy of Jim Britt/Getty Images