Anna was born Anna Rudy Gordy in Milledgeville, Ga., the third eldest of Berry Gordy, Sr. and Bertha Ida Gordy. Like many of her family members, she was a successful business person. She co-founded a photo concession at Detroit’s Flame Show Bar and a label, Anna Records, with her sister Gwen and singer Billy Davis.
In her marriage to Marvin Gaye, which began in 1964 and ended in divorce in 1977, the couple had one child, Marvin Gaye III. Anna Gaye is known to have greatly influenced her ex-husband’s career, including co-writing songs with him for the Motown group The Originals (including the hit “Baby, I’m For Real”); co-composing two songs on his classic What’s Going On; and inspiring such records as “Pride and Joy” and “Anna’s Song” (the former was written during their courtship, the latter during a separation).
Marvin said his hit song “Pride and Joy” was inspired by his courtship of Anna back in the early 60s.
They have one child together — Marvin Gaye III — and eventually divorced in 1977. Marvin wrote “Anna’s Song.” It was released in 1978.
Anna was 92 years old.