Anna Gordy Gaye, Motown Songwriter and Ex-Wife of Marvin Gaye, Dies at 92

6:57 PM PST 01/31/2014 by Marc Schneider, Billboard

The sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy was married to Gaye for 14 years.

This article first appeared on Billboard.com.

Anna Gordy Gaye, the sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy and former wife of the late Marvin Gaye, with whom she co-wrote songs for his What's Going On album, died at her home in Los Angeles early Friday morning. She was 92.

An official family statement said Gordy Gaye was surrounded by loved ones including her son Marvin Gaye III. "She will be deeply missed," said the statement. Earlier, a family publicist said Gaye passed away from natural causes.

The songwriter and businesswoman co-founded Anna Records in 1958, a year before her brother established Motown. The imprint scored a hit with Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" before it was absorbed by Motown a couple years later.

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She married Motown artist Marvin Gaye in 1963 and worked as a songwriter for the Detroit-based R&B/soul label. The husband-wife team penned several hits, including "Baby, I'm for Real" and "The Bells" for The Originals, and later "Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)" and "God Is Love" off Gaye's landmark What's Going On album, released in 1971. They also collaborated on "Just to Keep You Satisfied," from 1973's "Let's Get It On."

Their 1977 divorce was unique in that a settlement was worked out giving Gordy Gaye the royalties for Gaye's next album, which he filled with personal songs about the failed relationship. He titled the release Here, My Dear.

The pair later reconciled and remained friends until Gaye's death in 1984.

Said Berry Gordy in a statement: "My sister Anna was the glamour girl of the family. She was beautiful, sexy, playful, lovely. Men loved her, but she lived for her family, especially her younger brothers of which, I was lucky enough to be one. She backed me up on everything I tried to do and gave me the confidence to be what I wanted to be. She gave me all the love that a sister could give a brother.... I will miss her so dearly."

Gordy Gaye is survived by her son, Marvin Gaye III. Funeral announcements will be announced shortly.

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