Marvin Gaye’s National Anthem

At the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, Marvin Gaye stole the show with his singular rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” At the time, singing the anthem was for the most part a straightforward job — shoulders square, sing it straight like the hymn that it is. But for this game, Gaye took the anthem to a new level. Gaye’s one rehersal was bumpy. By this point in his life, Gaye was battling a serious drug addiction. And on game day, the singer was running perilously late. But then the lights dimmed, a syncopated beat machine was turned on and Gaye made history. One year later, Marvin Gaye was dead, shot by his own father. Thanks to NPR for the text and Youtube for the video – this is special. Marvin Gaye sings the National Anthem.

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