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Nona Gaye – Who is the daughter of Marvin Gaye and Jan Gaye?

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Nona Gaye is a popular American actress, whose main work was her role of Zee in the sequels of the movie “Matrix”. She is also known as the daughter of the late jazz and fun artist Marvin Gaye and his wife Jan.

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Early life and family

Nona Marvisa Gaye was born on September 4, 1974 in Washington, DC, USA, so her zodiac sign is Virgo and she holds American nationality. Nona is the first daughter of Marvin Gaye and Janis Hunter Gaye, but at the time of her birth her father was still married to the sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, Anna Gordy, whom he did not divorce until 1977. Nona is of Afro-Cuban, Greek, African American, and Irish descent. She has two siblings, Marvin III and Frank, whom all members of the family gently referred to as Frankie.

Nona Gaye

Posted by HIP HOP visions On Wednesday 13 April 2016

Nona spent part of her childhood in New York, part in Ostend, Belgium, where her father had moved to evade taxes.

Nona had to witness the relationship between her parents that was far from friendly and “normal”. In her book ‘After The Dance. My life with Marvin Gaye” Janis said that Marvin was suffering from a cocaine addiction that enraged him within seconds: “He grabbed a kitchen knife and put it to my throat. I was petrified, paralyzed. I thought it was all over,” Janis wrote, describing one of the many scenes of Marvin’s violent behavior after taking drugs. Finally Janis took the kids and left Marvin, sometimes even hiding from him so as not to see him again; However, Nona’s brother, Frankie, was once taken by their father and was not returned for over a year, while Janis fought for him with Marvin, who wouldn’t let him leave his home in Hawaii.

Janis also shared that Nona’s birth in 1974 disappointed her husband, as he wanted to have a son; in fact, it was Janis’ second pregnancy, as she miscarried at age 18 and lost her first unborn child to Marvin. When Nona was born, Janis’ first words were to her husband, “I’m sorry,” because she regretted giving birth to a girl.

Nona’s father, Marvin Gaye

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. was a famous singer and songwriter. Born on April 2, 1939, Marvin started his music career in 1961, when he released his first album “The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye”. He went on to release 16 studio albums, becoming one of Motown Records’ most prolific artists.

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“Mother, mother There are too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother There are way too many of you dying You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some love here today, eh eh Father, father We have no need to escalate You see, war ain’t the answer Cause only love can conquer hate You know we gotta find a way To bring some love here today, oh oh oh Picket lines and picket signs Don’t punish me with brutality to me, so you can see Oh, what’s going on What’s going on Yeah, what’s going on Ah, what’s going on in the meantime Right on baby Right on brother Right on baby Mother, mother, everyone thinks we’re wrong Oh , but who are they to judge us Just because our hair is long Oh, you…” #whatsgoingon #marvingaye #today

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His most successful albums included “A Tribute to the Great Nat “King” Cole” (1965), “That’s the Way Love Is” (1970) and “Here, My Dear” (1989). He also appeared in several films as an actor and can be seen in the 1969 TV movie “The Ballad of Andy Crocker” and “Chrome and Hot Leather” (1971). Marvin had serious problems with drugs, he was heavily addicted to cocaine, which he also mixed with psychedelic mushrooms and some types of acid, which affected his health at a young age.

Marvin was shot by his own father in 1984 when he was 44 years old. He is said to have had a brutal argument with his parents when his father shot him twice – in the heart and his shoulder, although the first shot was fatal. Marvin Gay Sr. was sentenced to six years in prison with a reprieve for the murder, because he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Her father’s murder would divide Nona’s life into ‘before’ and ‘after’ periods: ‘We turned on the TV and my father was rolled out in a body bag. That never goes away,” Nona shared in her interview with People in 2000.

Educational background

Nona struggled with her admission to high school, having developed an addiction to drugs since she was 14, witnessing both of her parents taking them constantly. However, she managed to graduate in 1992, but did not enroll in a university.


singing career

No one ever shared in her interview with Detroit Free Press that her late father felt the potential in his daughter; she remembered him saying, ‘She sings quite well and she’ll probably do what I do’.

Nona really felt the passion for singing and released her first album, “Love for the Future”, in 1992, which featured the album’s top single entitled “I’m Overjoyed”, but Nona was not at all happy about it: “The label wanted go with crossover pop. I wanted to join the funk. I knew people wouldn’t accept chewing gum from Marvin’s daughter, and they didn’t,” she said in her 2003 interview with Esquire.

However, Nona continued to record new material and released her second album, “Language of Love” in 2008. In 1994, she teamed up with Prince and recorded a duet with him; their song “Love Sign” was a huge success.

acting career

Nona debuted as an actress in 1989 and landed the role of Patron in Eddie Murphy’s “Harlem Nights”.

At the time, it was a saving hand for her, a teenage girl struggling with financial problems, drug addiction and no chance for a good career.

Nona took advantage of that opportunity and later managed to land more roles, taking advantage of her teenage acting experience. In 2001, she appeared as Belinda (Khalilah) Ali in “Ali”, even though she was sure she didn’t pass the casting; However, Will Smith (who himself played Muhammad Ali) and the film’s director, Michael Mann, called Nona back, invited her to more lectures, and eventually gave her the part. In 2001, the sequel to the legendary Wachowski Brothers’ “The Matrix” was due to be filmed, but singer Aaliyah, who was chosen to play Zee in the film, died in a plane crash in August 2001, so Zee’s role was vacant.

Nona Gaye

Nona was chosen to replace Aaliyah, portraying the character brilliantly, and receiving hugely positive feedback from critics for both films, “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003) and “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003).

She has also appeared in such films as “Crash” (2004), in which she played the role of Karen, “xXx: State of the Union” (2005), in which she played Lola Jackson, and “The Gospel” (2005), in which she appeared as Charlene Taylor Frank. Her last work was the role of Tamara in “Blood and Bone” in 2009.

Personal life, ex-husband Justin Martinez. Did Nona date Prince?

When Nona worked with Prince, she insisted that they go out, and they were often seen together as well.

However, after three years of dating, Prince proposed to… a dancer from his show crew, named Mayte, in the middle of the show, to which Nona was invited as a guest by Prince himself. Nona later said they hadn’t spoken since.

In 1997, Nona began dating her high school sweetheart, Justin Martinez. The couple gave birth to their son Nolan Pentz Martinez at the end of the year, but the couple broke up in 1999 and Nona became a single mother.

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts

Nona sang her father’s song, “What Is Going On” at one of the post-September 11 charity shows. She also has stated: that she heard her father’s voice after his death; the voice guided her in many life situations and helped to make the right decision.

She also admitted that after a rehabilitation program, she stopped drinking alcohol, taking all kinds of drugs and not even smoking cigarettes, doing everything she could to avoid the things that could ruin her life: “I think my Dad would say I’m really, really careful to stay away from the demons that are in my bloodline,” she told Good Housekeeping in her 2002 interview.


Nona has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. She is 1.79 m tall and weighs about 65 kg; her vital statistics are currently unavailable.

Wealth and salary

As of 2020, Nona has an estimated net worth of more than $3 millionand is also reported to earn a minimum of $65,000 a year from her singing career.


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