Marvin Gaye gets his own U.S. postal stamp in time for his 80th birthday

Billie Holiday has one, so does Ray Charles and Lena Horne. So why not the Prince of Soul?

Marvin Gaye
Singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye, winner of Favorite Soul/R&B Single, "Sexual Healing," attends the American Music Awards in Los Angeles in January 1983. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac, File)

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

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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