Source: US Postal Service.
A favourite of Māori fans of soul music, Motown legend Marvin Gaye will have a US No.1 hit again on his 80th birthday when he will be honoured with his own American postage stamp.
The new stamp featuring the 'Prince of Soul' is to be issued on Gaye's birthday on 2 April as part of the US Postal Service's 'Music Icons' series.
One of Aotearoa's most iconic Māori singers, Mark Williams says Māori latched onto soul music like Marvin Gaye's because of its soulful rhythm.
The USPS says it chose to honour Gaye (1939–1984) because he is recognised as "one of the most influential music performers of his generation."
The postal service says Gaye's 'expansive masterwork' "What’s Going On, is widely considered one of the greatest recordings in the history of American popular music."
Marvin Gaye's album What’s Going On is 'one of the greatest recordings in the history of American popular music.'
The stamp features a portrait of Gaye, with original art by African American artist Kadir Nelson.
Dear Music Fans, We’re honoring the life, legend and sound of Marvin Gaye (1939 - 1984) with the newest stamp in our Music Icons series. Pictured here in front of Washington D.C.’s @howardtheatre, where he graced the stage, our stamp features a portrait of Gaye inspired by historic photographs. With hits like “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby,” Gaye helped shape the buoyant sound of the Motown record label in the 1960s. Released in 1971, his expansive masterwork, “What’s Going On,” is widely considered one of the greatest recordings in the history of American popular music. Gaye’s presence and unique sound will live on forever through his music and now through the mail. Send some soul by including the Marvin Gaye stamp on your envelopes, available for pre-order at usps.com/stamps. #aCreativeDC #dcmusic #howardtheatre #igdc #kadirnelson #marvingaye #stamps
On Instagram, Nelson shared a USPS statement saying, "Gaye’s presence and unique sound will live on forever through his music and now through the mail."
Nelson is famous for his album covers for Michael Jackson and Drake.
Kadir Nelson's cover art for Michael Jackson's posthumous album "Michael" and Drake's "Nothing Was The Same'.
The tribute to Gaye is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve.
Musicians already featured in the stamp series include Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and jazz singer Sarah Vaughan. Future editions are set to star James Brown and Sam Cooke.
Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Sarah Vaughan feature in the music icons stamp series.
The USPS says anyone wanting to "send some soul by including the Marvin Gaye stamp on your envelopes" can pre-order them online.