Smokey Robinson Thought Marvin Gaye’s Death Was April Fool’s Day Joke

LEGENDS & ICONS OF HIP HOP - Post By Kevin Douglas

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Smokey Robinson sat down with Vladtv to speak about his close friend Marvin Gaye and remembered the day he died coming off as an April Fool’s Day joke originally.

As he headed to drive after another day of golf, Robinson heard the radio report about the passing of Gaye.  He initially thought it was a sick joke but later had the terrible news confirmed. Smokey said he only learned about Marvin’s tumultuous and traumatic relationship with his father after he had already killed him.

on April 1, 1984, when Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his own father one day short of his 45th birthday shocking the music world.


If the physical cause of Marvin Gaye’s death was straightforward—”Gunshot wound to chest perforating heart, lung and liver,” according to the Los Angeles County Coroner—the events that led to it were much more tangled. On the one hand, there was the longstanding conflict with his father dating back to childhood. Marvin Gay, Sr., (the “e” was added by his son for his stage name) was a preacher in the Hebrew Pentecostal Church and a proponent of a strict moral code he enforced brutally with his four children.


He was also, by all accounts, a hard-drinking cross-dresser who personally embodied a rather complicated model of morality. By some reports, Marvin Sr. harbored significant envy over his son’s tremendous success, and Marvin Jr. clearly harbored unresolved feelings toward his abusive father.

Smokey Robinson in the clip above, talked about his fallout with Marvin Gaye over Marvin’s drug use. Despite admitting to partaking in some of the consumption of drugs, Smokey said that Marvin went overboard and kicked him out of his house after refusing to loan him money for more drugs.