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R&B/soul music icons from the past, present and future will soon gather to celebrate one of the genre’s most beloved voices this summer. We are rapidly approaching a benchmark 40th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s classic album “What’s Going On” and the top musicians in the genre from Stevie Wonder to John Legend and Janelle Monae to The Roots are among the list to contribute to the upcoming high honors.

In just a few weeks, R&B/soul singer and prolific songwriter John Legend is expected to team up with The Roots (after their stunning collaborations on the singer’s Grammy-winning project Wake Up released in 2010). The new musical efforts from this collective of entertainers will feature recreations of Marvin Gaye’s music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on May 3-4th. It also marks the same date and location where Marvin Gaye was honored in the 1970s.

In preparation for June’s Black Music Month festivities, you’ll soon begin hearing more about what’s said to be one of the best shows to hit the scene in a very long time in the upcoming “What’s Going On” tribute to be held in California at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Details are rather slim and still unfolding, but it should be something special and something Marvin Gaye would be proud to be apart of.

So why these artists? We believe in the following prospects.

STEVIE WONDER

He’s one of the living legends who still creates music that spans the generations and isn’t afraid to hold up the very standard that his generation of artists began so many years ago. Without Stevie, there wouldn’t be artist like John Legend or Alicia Keys – real musicians, real talent and real songwriters.

JANELLE MONAE

Innovative and ambitious are just a few titles to give this young lady who’s quickly made a name for herself in outrageous landscape of talent. She’s got the spunk, the focus and the creativity to be around for decades, but now that she’s here she’s made sure we notice and respect her in every facet of her musical journey.

JOHN LEGEND

Hailing from Ohio, John Legend’s gift of voice and song instantly brings music fans back to the good ol’ days so it’s no surprise that he’s been touted as one with musical lasting power. His rich tone and classic presence reminds us constantly to give back, live for the moment and give credit to the leaders who’ve come before us.

In 40 years, we’ve seen music legends come and go, but who do you think will last another 40 years from now? Are there any top artists proving to the world that they’ve got longevity in this ever-changing industry?

What are your thoughts on the big show and celebrations as we get closer and closer to another summer filled with more great Black music? Share your thoughts with us below on the message board.

RELATED LINKS:

R&B/Soul Music Remembers Marvin Gaye with Upcoming Tribute

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