Marvin Gaye – What's Going On
I would imagine many babies were conceived to this album. If you think you're a singer or you want to do a bit of singing, it's a must listen album. Even when he's just scatting the lyrics and singing along to a melody – which is the way he apparently used to write a lot of stuff, by just going to the mic and ad libbing – he's amazing. I'm not very interested in politics as a musician – never have been – but he managed to incorporate what was going on in US politics at that time in a highly poetic way.
I got to meet him and perform on a show with him at the Motown 25 concert in 1983. That was Marvin's last performance. I did 'Where Did Our Love Go' and Diana Ross came on stage when I was doing it, which was quite an event. She just danced around me and then went off. There was a knock on my dressing room door before the show and I opened the door and he said, "Hi I'm Marvin Gaye" and I said, "I know you are!" He just came to say thanks for doing the show. He was a really nice guy. And when I came off the stage, him and Smokey Robinson were waiting for me and they put their arms round me and all that. It was nice to meet him; he was such a gentle soul. Berry Gordy's No 2 was a woman called Suzanne de Passe who was the MD of the company and she'd seen my videos and heard my stuff, and Berry liked it. The theme of the show was 'Yesterday, Today, Forever', and he wanted something that was in the future style. I think I performed with all my heroes and heroines that night. I'd been listening to their songs all my life. I had the unenviable task of following Michael Jackson. He sang 'Billie Jean' and did the moonwalk for the first time. I was ten feet away from him when he did that. It was quite a memorable evening.