More influential soul legend: Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder?
via AP

More influential soul legend: Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder?

#TeamMarvinGaye
#TeamStevieWonder
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Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder were Princes of Motown in the '60s who grew into two of the most iconic soul artists of all time. Wonder, who lost his sight as a small child, was a prodigy who signed with Motown at age 11. He is a prolific musician with an instantly recognizable voice and is also responsible some of the greatest love songs of all time. Gaye still influences artists with his soulful four-octave vocal range, socially conscious lyrical content and sensual love songs. Who's more influential? 🎤

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#TeamMarvinGaye
51%
#TeamStevieWonder
49%

Marvin Gaye was deemed the Prince of Motown and Prince of Soul after gaining solo hits in the '60s, with smashes like "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and duets like "You're All I Need to Get By" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

Gaye went through a depression in the early '70s following the death of Tami Terrell, who was his frequent duet partner. But the soul icon continued to make music; the socially-conscious "What's Going On" was released in 1971, followed by "Let's Get It On" in 1973. 

Gaye's conceptual albums and musical themes of love, sex, and social issues helped shape soul music. His four-octave vocal range inspired a string of artists to come, including the likes of  Michael Jackson, Usher, Aaliyah, D'Angelo, Maxwell, Brian McKnight and Robin Thicke. His music also inspired sub-genres of R&B/soul music—like quiet storm and neo-soul. 

Gaye's career had longevity but was cut short when he was shot and killed by his abusive father on April 1, 1984, just one day before his birthday. Though, his music lives on—from the many covers to pop culture references like Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor's hit "Marvin Gaye." 

Watch the Soul Train performance of Gaye's biggest Billboard hit "Let's Get It On" below. 

Stevie Wonder got his start at Motown at the tender age of 11, scoring his first #1 hit with "Fingertips" two years later in 1963. Wonder continued to successfully sing and play his harmonica throughout the '60s. 

In the '70s, Wonder explored funkier soulful sounds on smashes like "Superstition" and "Higher Ground." He continued to sing love ballads and joyful songs throughout the decade, like "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," while releasing socially-conscious material like "Living For the City." 

After dominating the '70s, the multi-talent musician continued his success in the '80s with hits like "Ebony and Ivory," "Ribbon in the Sky," "Happy Birthday" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You." Wonder's socially conscious, musicianship, songwriting, and vocals have been praised since the '60s. He's regarded as one of the most successful Billboard-era artists of all time, with 10 total #1 hits. He's also regarded as one of the most commercially successful musical icons ever. He's inspired generations of artists—including other greats like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, John Legend and Kanye West.

Watch the music video to "I Just Called to Say I Love You" below, which is revered as his biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit ever. 

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