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

Anna Gordy Gaye

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 her son Marvin Gaye III and other loved ones. "She will be deeply missed," it said. 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. 

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 of 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 son Marvin Gaye III. Funeral announcements will be announced shortly.