Marvin Gaye’s second wife Janis Hunter Gaye passed away at age 66 on Saturday, Dec. 3. No cause of death was disclosed.
Their daughter, former actress and singer Nona Gaye confirmed she died at her Rhode Island residence.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my mother, Janis Gaye,” Nona Gaye wrote, according to UdiscoverMusic.
“She was the most influential woman in my life and many others. I believe once you met my mother Jan, she wasn’t a woman you could ever forget. Every word from her mouth was from her soul. She never said anything she didn’t mean. I know her drive and influence from the time she was 17 until the day she died was all about her family and family that extended beyond blood – brothers, sisters in every part of this beautiful and painful planet. Every day she was here it was about the love she felt for her husband, children, grandson, and the friends she met all over the world.”
Nona, pictured with her famous father and brother, Frankie, added: “From the time she met my father, she was exposed to the way he saw this world was aching, and she did her best to preserve his legacy as he was taken from us far too early. She took every moment to speak about every word and every note of his music, and she wanted to make sure everyone knew the man she fell in love with. I will never get to see her again in this life but know she’s in heaven with my father and a spokesperson for us in spirit.”
Hunter Gaye is the daughter of jazz musician Slim Gaillard.
+ rest in peace to the greatly legendary #jangaye (neé janis hunter) who recently transitioned. we send love, honor, respect, peace & healing to the family. if you have yet to read her book, ‘after the dance: my life with marvin gaye’, now would be a great time to pick one up ?. pic.twitter.com/A57zfMeqJf
— NAMUHUEMAN + (@NAMUHUEMAN) December 7, 2022
According to Billboard, Hunter Gaye met Marvin as a teenager when he was recording his 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On.” She would later go on to provide background vocals for his No. 1 disco song “Got to Give It Up” in 1977. They were married in 1977 before divorcing in 1981. They had two children, daughter Nona and son, Frankie.
Marvin also dedicated his Marvin Gaye Live! single “Jan,” to her as well as the 1976 album I Want You.
Hunter Gaye is survived by her children, Nona and Frankie, her sister Shawnn Monteiro, her brother Mark, and grandson Nolan Pentz.