The U.S. Postal Service stamp program has celebrated and honored various people, events, and cultural elements that share the unique history of the United States since 1847. The subjects of the 2019 commemorative stamps have recently been revealed to include entertainment icons Marvin Gaye and Gregory Hines.
The stamp featuring Marvin Gaye, also known as the "Prince of Soul," is a part of the Music Icon series of commemorative stamps. Gaye is often noted to have been "one of the most influential music performers of his generation." While his smooth grooves of "Let's Get It On" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" kept dance floors full, some of his more socially conscious classics like “What’s Going On" and "Mercy Mercy Me" expressed lyrical analyses of current events and ongoing community issues. The Gaye stamp will feature original art by Kadir Nelson.
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Check out my new US Postage Stamp! Coming in 2019. Marvin Gaye. With this new stamp in the Music Icons series, the U.S. Postal Service honors Marvin Gaye (1939–1984) — the “Prince of Soul” — one of the most influential music performers of his generation. The stamp design features a portrait of Gaye inspired by historic photographs. The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps, brief text about Gaye’s legacy, and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve. Another portrait of Gaye, also inspired by historic photographs, appears on the reverse along with the Music Icons series logo. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp pane with original art by @kadirnelson #marvingaye #kadirnelson #stamps #motown #usps
The likeness of famed tap dancer, singer, and actor, Gregory Hines, will grace the 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage commemorative series. Hines' unique tap dancing style and performance showmanship forever changed the presentation of the art form. After singing, dancing, and acting on Broadway, television, and in films, Hines was also credited with re-introducing tap dancing as an art form to younger generations in the 1990's. Young tap dancers, such as Savion Glover, acknowledged Hines as an inspiration to pursue the art form. The Hines stamp features the re-creation of a 1988 photograph taken by Jack Mitchell.
Photo credit: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images
"The miniature works of art illustrated in the 2019 stamp program offer something for everyone's interest about American history and culture," said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Executive Director Mary-Anne Penner. "From legendary poet Walt Whitman to the entertainment genius of Gregory Hines to the majestic beauty of our Wild and Scenic Rivers, this program is diverse and wide ranging and tells America's story on stamps."