Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: EasyReleased: 1970Charted:
According to biographer David Ritz (Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye), the actual female vocal on "The Onion Song" was its co-writer Valerie Simpson. Gaye's duet partner Tammi Terrell was dying of a brain tumor, and though Valerie Simpson was originally uneasy about pretending to be the singer, she decided to go ahead when she was told that the royalties would go towards Terrell's medical expenses. Simpson later denied her prominent role in the song and claimed she only assisted Terrell on the track. Terrell tragically died on March 16, 1970.
Before being picked up by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "The Onion Song" was intended for Diana Ross and the Supremes.