Question: What was the longest-running number one U.S. R&B hit of the '80s?
Usual suspects of '80s R&B like Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder enjoyed No. 1 hits on the popular niche chart for several consecutive weeks, but no one was able to match the 10-week run enjoyed by one of Motown and soul's biggest stars of the '60s and '70s. At least partially because of a tragic early death, this particular singer recorded only one '80s smash hit. What's the name of this historic swan song?
Answer: Marvin Gaye was no stranger to the highest reaches of the music charts when he released "Sexual Healing" in 1982. However, as his first major hit in five years, the track certainly didn't seem like it would be this artist's last. Unfortunately, Gaye's father would fatally shoot the troubled singer on April 1, 1984, silencing a legend far too soon. This tune would be well worth celebrating without its wistfully tragic backstory, boasting a winning throwback groove and some of Gaye's finest passionate vocals of his distinguished career. Still, the promising nature of the comeback that began on the strength of the song makes Gaye's death sting all the more because the music world never got to experience a follow-up. "Sexual Healing" may be an ode to the pleasures of the flesh, but its soul runs plenty deep just as its hit status mushroomed during the winter of 1982 and into 1983.