NEW YORK, Feb. 4 --
It was at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game at the Forum in Los Angeles that Marvin Gaye stole the show with his singular and revolutionary rendition of the National Anthem.
"I am honored to have this opportunity to recognize him," Nona Gaye says of her father, the late Marvin Gaye.|
Twenty All-Star Games later, his daughter, multi-talented performer Nona Gaye, will pay tribute to her late father by singing a duet with him of that legendary performance as part of the musical entertainment at NBA All-Star Saturday Night.
NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by America Online is set to take place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be televised by TNT on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. (ET). All-Star Saturday Night events will include (in order): the inaugural RadioShack Shooting Stars, the 989 Sports Skills Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout and the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk competitions.
Referred to by many as one of the most memorable moments in sports history, Marvin Gaye's soulful interpretation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" displayed a definite departure from tradition. Though controversial at the time, many point to his performance as the catalyst for the now common pairing of popular music and national sporting events.
"Most people don't remember that the East beat the West powered by Julius Erving's MVP performance, but everyone remembers Marvin Gaye's anthem at the 1983 All-Star Game," said Gregg Winik, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer, NBA Entertainment. "When the lights dimmed, Gaye made history, galvanizing a capacity crowd and millions of television viewers. It was only fitting to honor that performance with a special tribute by his daughter Nona Gaye for the NBA All-Star Game's first return to Los Angeles since 1983."
Using digitally enhanced video and re-mastered audio of Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking performance, Nona Gaye will join her father on center court for the soulful rendition, which will be produced by NBA Entertainment in conjunction with multi-Grammy Award-winning producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The performance will be reminiscent of Natalie Cole's 1990 Grammy Award-winning duet of "Unforgettable" with late father Nat King Cole.
"I was 8 years old at the time my father sang the All-Star anthem and as a child I could have never imagined the impact he would have on both the entertainment and sports worlds" said Nona Gaye. "Now as an adult I am honored to have this opportunity to recognize him and relive this significant historical moment."
Marvin Gaye's All-Star Game anthem was not only a seminal moment in sports history, but a defining one in the legendary soul singer's life. Just two week's after the performance, Gaye won his first two Grammy Awards and later performed on Motown's 25th Anniversary special. The anthem proved to be among his most celebrated live performances.
Nona Gaye is probably best known for her acclaimed performance opposite Will Smith as Muhammad Ali's second wife in Michael Mann's "Ali." Her film debut, the role prompted USA Today to call for an Oscar nomination. She followed Ali with the second and third installments of The Matrix trilogy: "The Matrix: Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolutions."
Gaye is currently in production on the Paul Higgis-directed "Crash" for Bull's Eye Entertainment where she stars opposite Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillipe, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton and Sandra Bullock. In November, Gaye can be seen in the Warner Bros. animated project, "The Polar Express" opposite Tom Hanks. The highly anticipated film, based on the inspiring children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, is directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Gaye appeared on stage for the first time with her father when she was three weeks old. She was 14 years old when she cut her first demo and was signed to Atlantic Records at 16. In 1992 she released her first album, "Love for the Future," which received high praise from the music industry.
In 2001 she returned to the recording studio, collaborating with Bono & Artists Against Aids Worldwide re-recording "What's Going On" as a call to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa. Gaye later added modeling to her career, shooting a campaign for Armani and walking the runway for Gianni Versace.
REFLECTIONS ON MARVIN GAYEíS
1983 NBA ALL-STAR GAME NATIONAL ANTHEM PERFORMANCE
"I remember standing there and I was a Marvin Gaye fan. I thought Marvin Gaye created the very first message that made any sense to all of us who were raised in the late '60s and '70s. When he came out, I wasnít thinking of anything else other than that the man would sing a very soulful rendition of the national anthem. And then when he sang his rendition to the melody of 'Sexual Healing,' it was incredible. I actually had goose bumps. All of us were astounded how he could pull this off respectfully. It was something so different, so unique, so spiritual, so wonderful.
"CBS, once their NBA contract was moved to NBC (in 1990), did a montage at the end to thank everybody over the years, and it was done to the national anthem by Marvin Gaye. They felt that that was the most significant moment in their basketball programming."
-- Pat Riley, 1983 All-Star Game Western Conference Head Coach
"That was one of the all-time best renditions that I ever heard. I happened to be very close to where Marvin was singing and it was just an amazing moment in time and something that I will never forget."
-- Kiki Vandeweghe, Denver Nuggets All-Star Forward in 1983
"I was there that day at The Forum in '83 -- thinking about it today still gives me chills. It was such a soulful and moving rendition, and was just groundbreaking at the time. I remember the whole arena shouting for an encore! It was truly a stirring experience -- not just a magical, musical moment, but in the end, historical: it turned out to be his last public performance."
-- Irving Azoff, Owner of Azoff Music Management
"As Marvinís performance started, people were stunned. As it picked up, all of the sudden you start to hear clapping, starting in the upper reaches of the Forum. Then the players started getting into it, swaying back and forth. It was obviously one of the most famous anthems of our time and it was really beautiful.
"I think that other performers looked at that anthem and focused on it and said, Ďif I ever get an opportunity to sing the anthem, Iíll obviously do it in a respectful way, but I am going to change it a little bit so people will listen to it and really hear the words because the words are so impactful.í It helped people really understand what our country is about and also understand what the anthem means to us."
-- Lon Rosen, Director of Promotions, Los Angeles Lakers in 1983, booked Marvin Gaye to perform
"I remember half way through the anthem the players started turning around and looking at Marvin Gaye because it was so incredible what he was doing. I think they were sort of in awe and they didnít know what to expect. It was something so different than before. There was a big murmur in the crowd. The crowd really got into it and the players got into it. That was amazing."
-- Andrew D. Bernstein, NBA Senior Official Photographer
"It reminded me of Jimi Hendrix's anthem at Woodstock. Marvin changed the whole template, and that broadened people's minds. It illuminated the concept, 'We're black and we're Americans. We can have a different interpretation [of the anthem], and that's OK.'"
-- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers Legend and 1983 Western Conference All-Star center, as told to The Los Angeles Times
"I usually said the Lordís Prayer during the anthem to get myself focused for each game. I saved it for later when I heard what Marvin was singing."
-- Alex English, Denver Nuggets Legend and 1983 Western Conference All-Star forward, as told to The Los Angeles Times
"After the introduction played and Marvin was about five words into the anthem, Lon looked at me and asked, 'Am I going to lose my job over this?' I told him he would either lose his job or get a huge promotion. He got neither, but the public response we received at The Forum was overwhelmingly positive."
-- Josh Rosenfeld, Director of Public Relations of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1983