This Day in Black History: Feb. 13, 1983

This Day in Black History: Feb. 13, 1983

Marvin Gaye sings the national anthem at the NBA All-Star game on Feb. 13, 1983.

Published February 13, 2014

Marvin Gaye was a well-known ladies’ man and arguably one of the first singers to ignite the infamous panty-throwing trend. Effortlessly smooth, charismatic and cool, Marvin Gaye had an aura about him that was infectious and captivating.

When he sang his soulful rendition of the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," on Feb. 13, 1983, at the NBA All-Star game in California, the crowd, players, officials and more were originally shocked at his spin on the American classic. Accompanied by a drum-machine, his raspy yet soothing voice broke the mold of traditional "Star-Spangled Banner" performances, and was labeled as “one of the greatest performances of all time” by late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

The audience rewarded Gaye with a standing ovation when he was done. Gaye’s epic rendition served as a Black twist on the American anthem, proving that music transcends race, color and creed. 

Follow Dominique Zonyéé on Twitter: @DominiqueZonyee.

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(Photo: Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

Written by Dominique Zonyéé


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