Marvin Gay, Sr., and the 10 Worst Rock-Star Parents of All Time

Twenty-eight years ago this week, Marvin Gay, Sr., received a six-year suspended sentence and five years of probation for the voluntary manslaughter of his son, the R&B legend Marvin Gaye. Gay pled guilty after shooting his namesake dead in the L.A. home given to him and his wife by Gaye, who was 44 when he died.

It was a terribly ugly end to a disastrous relationship between father and son. The elder Gay was a profoundly fucked-up man who had grown up in a violent abusive household as a child, and he readily passed that violence down to his own son. A minister in the House of God sect, he was a strict taskmaster to his children, and Marvin Jr. regularly took brutal whippings from his dear old dad as a boy.

According to Gaye's mother, Alberta, the elder Gay "never wanted Marvin, and he never liked him," making him quite possibly the only person in history who hated Marvin Gaye. He also had a penchant for cross-dressing in his wife's clothing around the house, which deeply confused the young Marvin and further estranged him from his father.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith