Marvin Gaye ‘What’s Going On’ TV Special Airs This Weekend

The special also features interviews with artists inspired by Gaye’s masterwork including Maxwell, Sheila E., Spike Lee, and Lee Daniels.

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Marvin Gaye CNN
Photo: Gems/Redferns

CNN has announced a new documentary special that will explore the impact and genius of Marvin Gaye. What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Anthem for the Ages will air this Sunday, May 9 at 8 pm EST, with CNN’s Don Lemon as host.

The documentary will dive into his seminal album What’s Goin On and its many iconic hits that still resonate with the many challenges and divisions in the nation today.

In 1971, while the United States was in the middle of the brutal Vietnam War and social unrest was spreading throughout the country, Motown star Marvin Gaye used his powerful voice to spread a song of peace and purposeful reflection. Fifty years later, the song and album, What’s Going On, is as relevant as the day it was released due to the ongoing issues of racism, poverty, police brutality, and the destruction of the planet.

In this documentary, Lemon conducts rare interviews with music legends Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson and speaks to other Motown musicians who were there with Gaye as he recorded What’s Going On inside the iconic Hitsville studio in Detroit.

Lemon also sits down with others who were inspired by this work, such as performing artists Maxwell, Sheila E., singer and actress Andra Day, and filmmakers Spike Lee and Lee Daniels.

CNN Special: What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Anthem for the Ages will stream live for subscribers on May 9th via’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android with a log-in to a cable provider.

It can also be viewed on CNNgo (at on your desktop, smartphone, and iPad, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Samsung Smart TV). The special will also be available on-demand to subscribers via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms, and CNN mobile apps.

Buy or stream Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition.



  1. genie. wicker

    May 9, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    will the Marvin Gaye documentary be aired by CNN also in France GET time. or at another date?
    otherwise we must watch it at 2AM.

  2. vader winston

    May 10, 2021 at 2:35 am

    trying t6 watch Marvin Gaye now

  3. Carolyn Wingate

    May 23, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Will it be shown again!

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