Businesswoman, composer and songwriter Anna Ruby Gordy-Gaye An elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy and the first wife of soul singer Marvin Gaye passed away Friday, January 31, 2014 at the age of 92 due to failing heath.
She became a record executive in the mid-to-late 1950s distributing records released on Checker and Gone Records before forming the Anna Records label with Billy Davis and sister Gwen. Gordy later became known as a songwriter for several hits including The Originals’ “Baby, I’m for Real”, and co-wrote three of Marvin’s songs: “God Is Love” and “Flyin’ High (In the Friendly Sky)” from 1971’s landmark album What’s Going On and “Just to Keep You Satisfied” from 1973’s Let’s Get It On.
Gordy-Gaye played a key role in Marvin Gaye’s life, both personally and professionally but her marriage to Marvin was marked by frequent fighting and infidelity. (Gaye fell in love with 17-year-old Janis Hunter during the recording of Let’s Get It On). When Anna filed for divorce in 1975, the proceedings lasted more than two years before the marriage was officially dissolved.
As part of the divorce settlement Gaye agreed to remit a portion of his royalties off his “Here, My Dear” album to Gordy-Gaye. The album gave audiences a view of the marriage through Marvin’s point of view. Released in December of 1978, Gordy-Gaye heard the album and threatened to sue Marvin for $5 million for invasion of privacy but later recanted.
Gordy-Gaye and Gaye reconciled their friendship in the early 1980s, Anna was Marvin’s escort at the 1983 Grammy Awards. She later accepted his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Gordy’s last public appearance came in June 2008 when she attended the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Heart Foundation event where brother Berry was being honored.
Anna Gordy Gaye is survived by her brothers, Berry and Robert, her son, Marvin Gaye III, and two grandsons, Marvin IV and Dillon.
Information source. Rolling Stone & Wikipedia
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