MUSIC

R.I.P. Marvin Gaye – Here Are His Best Songs

When the singer was killed on his 45th birthday in 1984, he was at the pinnacle of his career.

On this day in 1984, Marvin Gaye was shot and killed at the apex of his career.

Since his early days in Motown's ranks, Gaye was always a tastemaker. Initially a reclusive drummer, Gaye quietly emerged onto the 1960s Motown scene with a handful of early doo-wop hits. When crooning began to dominate mainstream radio, Gaye shifted with the tide and positioned himself as a crooner in his own right with hits like "My Funny Valentine and "How High The Moon." He then naturally dove into the world of R&B before pivoting for a brief stint in psychedelia with an acclaimed reimagining of Dion and Beatles songs. As the 70s brought on disco and sly funk, Gaye curated his own material to add to the exploding genre.

All of it was so naturally Gaye. He was an unstoppable musical polymath who could easily switch with the times, making his senseless murder on his 45th birthday all the more depressing. His endless musical cache about societal ills and personal heartbreak would eventually inspire the talents of Drake and The Weeknd, just to name a few. In honor of the legendary singer, here are a few of his best moments.

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

A 1960s Motown classic, this infectious jam came after a seemingly abundant number of smash hits from songwriters Brian Holland and Eddie Holland, and the way Gaye sings it with a glint in his eye became almost more iconic than the earworm itself. "Try as they might, no other vocalist could combine those two sensibilities as Gaye does here," wrote Stereogum, "bringing to life the guy that you wanted to bring home to meet mom and then sneak off to the bathroom for a quickie before dinner is served."

That’s The Way Love Is

Another earworm, "That's the Way Love Is" wasn't written for Gaye, but the soul for which Gaye calls out "that's the way love is, babe" would suggest otherwise. A lot of Gaye's early work through 1970 wasn't written by the balladeer, but his ability to elevate lyrics with emotional transparency became a niche, if not extremely marketable, talent for Gaye. On this cover of the Isley Brothers hit, Gaye enlists the help of the Funk Brothers to turn the track into a bouncy R&B smash.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

While Gladys Knight's rendition turned the soulful ballad into a funky chart-topper, Gaye's arresting rendition of "I Heard It" will always remain superior. While Motown head Berry Gordy preferred Knight's interpretation, Gaye's rendition surprisingly caught the attention of radio DJs, who spun the track so much Gordy allowed Gaye's version to be released as a stand-alone single. Over 50 years later, and the track remains as raw and powerful as ever. The scarcity of its arrangement allows Gaye's backing string section to soar, while Gaye sings frankly about budding infidelity as if he's experiencing the roller-coaster of heartbreak in real-time. The song would go on to be Gaye's first US smash.

Marvin Gaye - Lets get it on

While Gaye's legendary love-making anthem was originally billed to him by Ed Townsend as a religious ballad, Gaye reworked it into the classic love-making hit we all know and adore. Lyrically inspired by Janis Hunter, Gaye's eventual wife, "Let's Get It On" was crammed onto so many sex playlists that it became a cliche, but for years, it was the most seductive song in the country, thanks to Gaye's smooth vocals and unrestrained passion. You could practically hear him taking off his clothes.

Sexual Healing

Listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, "Sexual Healing" became Gaye's calling card later in life. Riddled with IRS woes and cocaine addiction, Gaye moved to Belgium where he became introduced to Reggae. In 2012, Gordon Banks told The Atlantic that the lyrics were inspired by Gaye's intrigue for Amsterdam's Red Light District, to which his producer David Ritz said that he needs "sexual healing." Prior to 2012, a rumor floated around that Gaye's lyrical inspiration came from Gaye's sadomasochist comic book collection.

Music Lists

Leave Your Man at Home: A Galentine's Day Playlist

From Diana Ross to Beyoncé, here arethe songs you need to celebrate.

Galentine's Day might've started as a bit in the Parks and Recreation universe, but Leslie Knope's holiday for celebrating her favorite women has since become an occasion for many ladies in real life.

Intended for celebration on February 13, Galentine's Day is best spent sharing the love with your closest gal pals—we recommend a potluck complete with wine and copious amounts of dessert—before sharing the following day with your sweetheart. If you're single this season, Galentine's Day and the following weekend also mark the perfect occasion to hit the town with your fellow bachelorettes, soaking in each other's companionship instead of wallowing over a lack of romance.

No matter how you're spending Galentine's Day, you need a playlist. We've compiled plenty of empowering hits—from classics and modern pop stars alike—to get your day (or night) started on the right foot.

Robyn, “Dancing On My Own”

Robyn's biggest hit to date is simply magical. It's a relatively simple dance-pop song that remains pretty level throughout, but "Dancing On My Own" still has a cathartic power that's made it the definitive sad banger. It's irresistible to sing along to, but the best part is you won't actually be on your own—you'll be dancing with your girls.

Follow the playlist on Spotify!

Galentine's Day

Bios

Ashlee Simpson

All you need to know.

Full Name: Ashlee Nicolle Simpson

Date of Birth: October 3, 1984

Born: Waco, TX

Occupation: Singer, songwriter, actress, reality personality

Status: Married to Evan Ross (2014)

Children: 2

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She's the sister to another famous Simpson and wife of the son of a superstar mom. Ashlee Simpson is a singer-turned-reality star putting her life on display as she reemerges into the spotlight as a musical mom of two, devoted to her darling, Evan Ross. Here's a bit about the blonde beauty and why keeping it real makes her relatable.

The Simpson Singers

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Pop music fans were impressed by the talent of Jessica Simpson when she first hit the scene. But her little sis had music in her blood too. Simpson was set to prove her older sister wasn't the only one in the family who could be famous. Out came Autobiography, Simpson's first album, released in 2004. The breakout single, "Pieces of Me" hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the top five and was a huge success. Simpson's sound was not as "pop" as her sister's – she was darker, grungier, and introspective. The contrast was perfect when it came to comparing the two, and Simpson could stand on her own as an artist. She followed up with several other albums over the years and is now back in the recording studio with her man, as seen on their reality show.

Ashlee + Evan

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Simpson has been married to Evan Ross (son of Diana) since 2014. Together they have a daughter and Simpson has a son from her previous marriage to Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. For those interested in the couple's lives, tune into E! to watch their reality show, Ashlee + Evan. They share special moments and music, and make memories right before our eyes. Let's hope their relationship doesn't wind up like her sister's did when Jess was married to boy bander Nick Lachey. Remember Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica? Reality television and marriages don't always mix.

Stylish Simpson

Simpson is fashion-forward, trend-setting, and always cool. No matter the occasion, Simpson is stylish, be it casual or classy. Here are some of Simpson's notable fashion moments:


Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.


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Jennifer Lopez - All you need to know

Carrie Underwood - All you need to know

Adam Levine - All you need to know

FILM & TV

The Top 10 Wildest VMA Moments

Tonight, the Stars Take the Stage for the 2018 MTV VMAs… Take a Look Back and LOL

Will 2018 give us more VMAs WTFs?

When it comes to awards shows, the VMAs are known to be among the most laid-back and loose, giving way to wild and wacky moments we just can't seem to get enough of. From outrageous outfits to eye-popping performances, the made-for-music crowd is always up for a good time.

Tonight, fans will be tuning in to watch their favorite artists rush the red carpet, do their thing, take home awards, and mix and mingle, but what's always most fun is to wait for the weird. Wardrobe malfunctions, disastrous dance numbers, lip sync snafus, you name it. If it's wild, it's worth watching.

Let's go back in time and revisit the top 10 wildest VMA moments. We may have something new pumping through our playlists these days, but memories like these never get old.

“Imma let you finish”

We now interrupt this program...

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C'mon, Kanye. And poor Taylor Swift. She was on stage to accept her award in '09 when the "Wild West" swooped in and took the mic, proclaiming Beyoncé was the best of the bunch. Looking confused and concerned, Swift's moment in the spotlight was shockingly stolen. "Imma let you finish" by no means replaced a cordial "congratulations," despite who Kanye felt deserved the "spaceperson" statuette.

Madonna Plants Her Pucker on Brit and X-Tina

"Like a Virgin?"

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Swapping spit was never so strange. Why did this '03 performance require a PG-13 warning when singing and dancing would have been so much more entertaining? We get it Madge, staying relevant is vital in this biz, but cringe-worthy kisses can't bring back "Borderline."

Popstar Meets Python

Kanye surely won't come on stage now...

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'01 must have been the year of the snake because a young Britney Spears came out on stage ready to slither. Singing (or lip syncing) "I'm a Slave 4 U," she held the ridiculously large reptile over her shoulders and likely needed a sedative to get through the peculiar performance. Maybe the kiss with Madonna wasn't so bad after all.

It Takes Two to Twerk?

No "Blurred Lines" here...

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In a dance number (term used loosely) turned totally upside-down, Miley Cyrus' twerking and grinding on singer Robin Thicke was so weird that it was almost too much for the VMAs viewers. Cyrus was near naked and Thicke was in the thick of the perversion. Icky and idiotic, we all watched this train wreck with one "side eye" and the other one shut.

Lady Gaga’s Cow Couture

Were the shoes too much?

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Meat replaced material when Lady Gaga grossed out the '10 VMA audience with a dress that answered, "Where's the beef?" Flesh-for-fashion certainly made a statement, but when Gaga said dinner was on her that evening, she meant it literally.

Lil’ Kim Lets it All Hang Out

Her cup runneth over

http://reductress.com

Want to upstage Diana Ross? Just let one of your "girls" take center stage and see where all eyes go. A strategically placed purple pasty made Lil' Kim's '99 VMA look censor-approved, but when it came to the nights "biggest boob," Kim took home the award for "breast dressed."

Burrito or Baby?

Beyoncé and her belly

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Beyoncé took the stage in '11 and gave a rousing performance of "Love on Top." But there was love in the middle too, as the star rubbed her belly signaling a famous fetus was forming. The audience was amazed and the gal was glowing. Talk about the birds and the Beys…

In Case You Wanted to Know

Who needs a publicist?

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Why take out an ad in the paper or pay for a TV commercial when you can advertise your upcoming album across your torso? Macy Gray let the '01 VMAs audience know her album was about to drop, forgoing style for sales. Not surprisingly, the bold message wasn't even the strangest thing about her ensemble.

Is It Cold In Here?...

Ever feel like you forgot something?

www.feelnumb.com

Rose McGowan's date to the '98 VMAs was the always-awe-inducing Marilyn Manson, but even he couldn't dress unusually enough to top McGowan's gown (or at least the shadow of its existence). Leaving little to nothing to the imagination, this mesh number was certainly the most revealing look of the night, letting us in on Victoria's Secret… McGowen doesn't shop there.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s Marriage “Certificate”

"You are Not Alone"

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'94's VMAs was full of entertainment, but nothing had fans closer to the edge of their seats than a super-strange smooch between then-newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Elvis' ghost definitely left the building when this on-stage stunt shook the crowd to the core.

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.


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MTV VMA's 2017 Recap – Top 10 Videos from Last Year's Winners

And the Video Vanguard Award Goes To… J. Lo, Naturally

The Oscars are Changing it Up

Top Stories

I Will Survive-And Other Songs To Get Through The Post Election Blues.

And other songs to get you through the post election abyss in this bluetooth boom.

There are going to be a lot of over-joyed, defeated, and confused people today. They will try to engage you with think pieces, statuses, one-liners, and text messages. You do not have to participate. I repeat, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RESPOND. This is coming from someone who is 90% sure that I will be one of those people writing my thoughts haphazardly as a stream of conscious exercise disguised as a Facebook status or a well crafted (hopefully) article–deleted, restarted, and edited seven times over to try and make sense of the nation before day's end. You do not have to respond to me, either.It is also your right to respond, if you wish. If this election taught us anything, it's you can do what you want.

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Sometimes, though, you just don't feel like sharing. You get tired of being the token representative of people who worship, love, or praise like you, even though we may all feel differently. It is exhausting attempting to explain again why writing 'non-partisan' articles on the election isn't helpful to an editorial, frustrating postulating with people who think the results were rooted in anything other than deep seated and hidden rebellion against change and inclusion, or explaining to all of the overnight political experts that yes, not voting and voting for a third candidate, did, in fact affect the election as much as people who did vote for either candidate.

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People disappoint, that is a fact of life. Historically, music never fails me. Bluetooth Boom is the name I affectionately give the multiple times in my day where I pull out my smartphone, connect to my Bluetooth speakers, and let a situation appropriate and carefully curated playlist take me to the desired destination. Bluetooth Boom can have the sexiest, saddest, happiest, angriest, or most spiritual undertone, but it has one purpose, take me away from the world.

Today seems as good a day as any to share my first official Bluetooth Boom with my PopDust fam. This one is appropriately titled, Bluetooth Boom: Donald Trump, President-Elect. It starts off with "Los Revolutionarios No Son Gente Normal", a quick excerpt from Che Guevara (don't worry, its translated), and flows right into Kendrick Lamar's "Alright". Also included is the Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, the soulful revolutionary Marvin Gaye, the always introspective John Lennon and an ever vocal Public Enemy. Before closing with Kendrick and Emeli Sande's "Vibe", there is also a reflective MJ with "Man in The Mirror", Greenday with the appropriately titled "American Idiot", and Aerosmith, "Living On the Edge". And for those feeling down because they are brown, black, women, children of immigrants, LGBTQA, we got this. Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive', "Gaga's Born This Way", and The Magician's "Sunlight" told me so.

Give the 43 song, 3 hour musical manifesto a play, share it with someone who needs it, and let it fuel you to preserver, mobilize, be vocal, initiate change over the next four years, and wonder with Jadakiss "why [he] is as hard as it gets".


Janet Jackson has kept a seriously low profile ever since quietly marrying billionaire Wissam Al Mana in 2012, but the legendary diva could be planning to make a comeback with her own Las Vegas residency show.

According to the generally reliable Las Vegas Sun, Jackson is in negotiations for her own "mini-residency" at The Venetian.

Diana Ross has just officially announced her own mini-residency at the same venue, while Lionel Richie and Ricky Martin, along with Jackson, are all said to follow.

The Venetian is said to be using these mini-residencies as a way to compete against Caesars Palace, which recently signed Mariah Carey and also has shows from Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn and more.

With whispers of new music from Ms. Jackson on the way, 2015 could mark a comeback for the pop superstar. Let's just hope that it actually happens and it isn't just more rumours, because if there's one thing pop music needs right now, it's more Janet Jackson.