The U.S. Postal Service is releasing a stamp of soul music legend Marvin Gaye with a stamp on April 2, which would have been his 80th birthday.

The stamp honoring Gaye, who died in a day before his 45th birthday in 1984, is part of its new Music Icon series and designed to resemble the cover of a 45 rpm record. The stamp is based on original art by Kadir Nelson – artist for the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Michael” album and for Drake ’s “Nothing Was the Same.”  The art director was Derry Noyes, whose specialty is turning art into stamp designs.

The Postal Service shared an image on its Instagram account of someone holding the stamp up close to the camera with Washington D.C.’s historic Howard Theatre – scene of many of Gaye’s performances — in the background. The stamp was inspired by archival photographs of Gaye.

READ MORE: The legend lives! Motown to release lost Marvin Gaye album from 1972

 

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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 soon! #aCreativeDC #dcmusic #howardtheatre #igdc

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For those who believe in the afterlife, Gaye will be smiling from ear to ear from the other side around the time of his birthday. Just a few days before April 2, Motown/Universal Music “ and the long version of “I Want to Enterprises will release a lost album that Gaye recorded at the height of his career. The 1972 album will, You’re the Man, will include a new mix of “My Last Chance” and a long version of “I Want to Come Home for Christmas.”

Gaye died 35 years ago, April 1 when he was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay Sr. (the singer added the “e” to his name), with whom he shared a tense relationship.

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