The Sister Act actress hosted the concert, titled How Sweet It Is: A Tribute to Marvin Gaye, at the Center in Washington, D.C. on Sunday and told the crowd about the late Motown singer's style.

“He never scolded, he never preached; he seduced,” she said, according to “Even with his protest songs, somebody somewhere was making a baby.”

R&B legend Babyface headlined the show, singing hits including How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough with Valerie Simpson, who co-wrote the song.

“I don’t know who doesn’t love Marvin Gaye,” he told the website. “I’ve always looked at him as a national treasure for America and for the world. We all love his music and have grown up with it. It’s a part of our DNA... He was quite an artist. We don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”

Michael Buble was originally due to be headliner, but he had to pull out as he continues to recover from vocal chord surgery.

Jussie, from TV show Empire, sang Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing with songwriter Ledisi and What's Going On solo. On Instagram before the event he wrote about the latter track, "I'm so honoured to take part in a tribute to the legendary #MarvinGaye tonight at @kennedycenter.... As I sang the words in rehearsal it made me wanna cry at just how relevant the lyrics are to our nation & world today. Praying I do it justice. I'm humbled, excited, a lil nervous but above all... Grateful."

Other performers included Mary Wilson from The Supremes, who sang I Heard It Through the Grapevine, BJ the Chicago Kid, who gave a rendition of Let’s Get It On. Tony-nominated Hamilton star Leslie Odom, Jr., was drafted in last minute to perform, but it's unclear what he sang.

The Sexual Healing singer died in 1984, aged 44.