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Motown review

Detroit hosts special ceremony for stamp

Two of the original Vandellas, Annette Helton and Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, display Marvin Gaye stamp artwork with Detroit District Marketing Manager Patricia Bridgeforth following the April 5 ceremony.

The Prince of Soul returned to Motown this month.

Detroit District hosted a special dedication ceremony April 5 for the Marvin Gaye stamp that featured musicians who knew and worked with him.

“Everyone loved Marvin Gaye,” said Paul Riser Sr., a Motown musical arranger. “It was an honor for all of us at Motown Records to work with Marvin. Thank you to the Postal Service for this great opportunity to pay honor to our good friend.”

The ceremony was held at the Detroit Historical Museum, which features several exhibits on Motown music. Gaye (1939-1984) helped shape the famed record label’s sound in the 1960s with hits like “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.”

Annette Helton, an original member of the Vandellas, remembered singing back up for Gaye during the era.

“He was so handsome. It was hard not to stare at him,” she said. “I tried to focus on the microphone or the floor so I could sing and not be distracted from staring at Marvin.”

The Marvin Gaye stamp, the latest release in the Music Icons series, features a portrait of Gaye inspired by historic photographs. The stamp is available at Post Offices and

The stamp was dedicated April 2 in Los Angeles. Special ceremonies are being held across the nation, although Detroit District Marketing Manager Patricia Bridgeforth said the Motor City event held special significance.

“After hearing all the stories from those who knew him well, Marvin Gaye is still alive in Motown,” she said.

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