30 years ago today (April 1) Marvin Gaye was killed, shot dead by his father Marvin Gay, Sr. in his Los Angeles home. Gaye was one of Motown’s most soulful and socially aware artists, standing tall amongst peers and label mates like Stevie Wonder by igniting spirits with politically-charged cuts like “What’s Going On” and equally providing heat for intimate times with songs like “Let’s Get It On.”
To celebrate his life, stellar output and the time he’s been away, here are his 30 top songs on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Revisit Marvin’s classic and maybe (re)discover a forgotten gem.
Methodology - This ranking is based on actual performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The ranking is based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 having the greatest value and weeks at lower ranks proportionately less. Due to various changes in chart rules, methodology and depth through the years, songs have had reigns at No. 1 and on the chart of varying average lengths. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from all years, certain time frames were weighted to account for the differences in song turnover rates.
"Music" (Erick Sermon sample)
Peak Position: 22 | Peak Date: 7/14/2001
"What's the Matter With You, Baby"
Peak Position: 17 | Peak Date: 7/4/1964
"Once Upon a Time"
Peak Position: 19 | Peak Date: 6/6/1964
"It Takes Two"
Peak Position: 14 | Peak Date: 3/4/1967
"Come Get To This"
Peak Position: 21 | Peak Date: 12/15/1973
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Peak Position: 19 | Peak Date: 7/15/1967
"Try It, Baby"
Peak Position: 15 | Peak Date: 7/25/1964
"You're a Wonderful One"
Peak Position: 15 | Peak Date: 4/18/1964
"Can I Get a Witness"
Peak Position: 22 | Peak Date: 12/28/1963
"My Mistake (Was to Love You)"
Peak Position: 19 | Peak Date: 5/4/1974