Anna Gordy Gaye, sister of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, and ex-wife of the late superstar singer Marvin Gaye has died at the age of 92.
Anna Gordy passed away early Saturday morning in her home surrounded by son Marvin Gaye III and other family members.
Though she is widely known for her marriage to Marvin, Anna Gordy had a career in the music business all her own.
In 1958 she launched her own record label, Anna Records, a full year before younger brother Berry would begin his own label, Tamla, later to be absorbed by Motown. She was also an accomplished songwriter as she co-penned the songs “Baby, I’m For Real” and “The Bells” for The Originals. She is even credited with co-writing two songs on Marvin Gaye’s seminal 1971 classic album What’s Going On?
In 1975, Anna Gordy filed for divorce from Gaye. The divorce proceedings went on for over two years before finally being settled in favor of Gordy with the arrangement that royalties from Gaye’s next album be awarded to Gordy. The resulting album, Here, My Dear, was a stark look at their relationship from beginning to end from Marvin’s point of view. Gordy was so incensed at the LP that she threatened to sue him for $5 million, citing invasion of privacy though she never made good of that threat.
Later, Gordy and Gaye were able to reconcile their friendship and remain good friends until Gaye’s death in 1984. After Marvin’s death, Gordy stayed out of the public eye, only making appearances here and there to sometimes accept posthumous awards on his behalf.
Anna Gordy is survived by her son, Marvin Gaye III, two brothers, Berry and Robert, and a host of nieces, nephews, and other family.
Arrangements for Anna Gordy have yet to be announced.