Less is remembered about Tammi Terrell, as she still rests largely in Marvin’s shadow.
Almost without exception when one hears her name, it is being mentioned in the same sentence with Marvin Gaye. Ludie Montgomery, Terrell’s sister, wrote in her memoirs that Terrell was the victim of sexual molestation by three boys after leaving a neighborhood party at the tender age of eleven. All three boys were arrested and convicted of rape for the incident.
After one particular incident with Brown backstage after a performance, Terrell asked Chandler, who witnessed the incident first hand, to take her to the bus station, so she could go home.
Chandler later called Terrell’s mother and asked her to pick her daughter up, and thus ended Terrell’s two-year long affair with Brown.
It was later claimed that Ruffin hit Terrell with a hammer and came after her with a machete, but these claims were denied by Terrell’s family as well as others with the Motown label.
Her sister Ludie Montgomery, however, claimed that Ruffin hit Terrell on the side of her face with his motorcycle helmet, resulting the end of their relationship in 1967.
In fact, while most assume that Gaye was the leader of the duo, he was actually extremely shy and introverted, while Terrell was by far the more streetwise and extroverted of the two.
His vocal range is legendary, as is his appeal to the fairer sex. Gaye battled drug addiction and faced tax problems which led him to flee the United States for a period.
Most people also know that he was shot and killed by his own father on April 1, 1984, just one day shy of his 45th birthday.
Not only were the pair not romantically involved, but initially they even recorded their respective vocal contributions to their duets completely apart from each other, only coming together after their earlier engineered collaborations were released and well received by the public.
Though it has frequently been speculated that their relationship grew into a brief romance, this claim has been strongly refuted by those who knew them well.