Marvin Gaye’s Daughter & Widow Disclose How Rick James ‘Saved Their Lives’ After Marvin Passed

Posted On : March 27, 2023
(L-R): Rick James; Janice Gaye (Marvin Gaye’s widow); Nona Gaye (Janice and Marvin’s daughter)

In a prior interview, Nona Gaye and her mom, Janis Gaye said Rick James stepped up after his friend, Marvin Gaye’s, untimely death. Nona Gaye was 9 when Marvin was killed by his father. Both she and mom credit Rick James with saving their lives, getting Jan off of drugs and treating them like ‘gold.’ Shocking, considering Rick James’ lifestyle. With Marvin leaving no will and the IRS and creditors hounding the family, Nona said Rick was the one person they could count on for money. She says he literally saved their lives.

Marvin Gaye with wife, Janis Gaye

“After my husband was killed, I slipped into heavy drugs,” says Janis. “I was very depressed. I wanted to just die like him.” She credits Rick for sending them to a clinic to get cleaned up. According to her, “Rick said your life will be better for it.” The strange thing about it was she said it was crazy because Rick was one person she used to get high with. Now he was changing their lives. By the early 90s, James’ career had stalled and only Teena Marie could deal with him and his habit. But Rick kicked it and tried to save a few others. This is proof that things aren’t always what they seem on the outside. Just when you think you know a person, they sometimes shock you. Outside of the drugs, the alcohol, and wild sex stories, this shows that Rick was still a man of character beneath it all.

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Nona Gaye also spoke on how she always saw her Dad (Marvin Gaye) and mother, Jan, do drugs and knew they had a problem. Then, like parents, like child – she unfortunately started doing drugs too at 14 and eventually would do them with her Mom.

Through all of that, Nona was still able find success on film, rather than following the career path of her late father, Marvin Gaye (1939–84). Nona Gaye made one record in the early 1990s before vanishing into years of substance abuse. Becoming a parent herself in 1997 forced her into a healthier lifestyle, and she began earning notice for her small, but well-executed supporting roles in films such as Ali and The Gospel. She also replaced Aaliyah in the two Matrix sequels after our beloved Aaliyah sadly passed away in a plane crash.

Gaye and her younger brother grew up in New York City, Los Angeles, and Ostende, Belgium, where their father had settled for tax reasons. The marriage between her parents, which lasted from 1977 to 1981, was a troubled one, and both had substance abuse problems, but the extreme love Marvin and Jan had for one another seems to still be there even after Marvin’s passing.