Jan Gaye (real name: Janis Hunter) was a former model, writer, and singer who gained fame as the second wife of the legendary soul singer Marvin Gaye. She was born on January 5, 1956, in Los Angeles, California, to her parents, jazz singer Slim Gaillard and a mother whose name is unknown. Her mother was of African-American and Native American descent, while her father was of African-American and Filipino descent.
Jan Gaye’s Biography (Age, Birth & Education)
Jan Gaye was born Janis Hunter was born on January 5, 1956, in Los Angeles, California, United States. She grew up in a musical household and was exposed to various genres of music from an early age. She died (death: 3 December 2022) at the age of 66 years.
Janis completed her basic education at a private school. Jan Gaye was well-educated and intelligent and she finished her higher education at a reputed college.
Who are Janis Hunter’s parents?
Hunter’s father was jazz singer Slim Gaillard, and her mother was of African-American and Native American descent. Her mother’s name is not known. Janis was raised in a musically inclined family, and it wasn’t long before she developed an interest in music herself.
Apart from this, there are no details available about Jan Gaye’s brother and sister on the web. Moreover, she was from African-American ethnic background.
Wiki / Trivia
|Known As||Jan Gaye|
|Full Name||Janis Hunter|
|Age (at the time of death)||66 years|
|Date of Birth||January 5, 1956|
|Birthplace||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Death Date||3 December 2022|
|Cause of Death||Not Known|
|Children||Nona Aisha Gaye|
|Net Worth||5 million USD (approx.)|
|Occupation||Writer and singer|
How did Janis Hunter meet Marvin Gaye?
Jan Gaye started her romantic involvement with Marvin Gaye in the early 1970s when she was only 17 years old, and he was 33 years old. They met when Marvin was in Washington, D.C., to perform at the Apollo Theater, and Janis was a student at a modeling agency. After the show, Marvin went to the agency, and that’s where they met. According to Janis, Marvin was immediately attracted to her, and they started dating soon after their meeting.
However, at the time, Marvin was still married to his first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye, whom he had married in 1963. Nevertheless, Marvin and Janis continued their relationship, and they even moved in together when Janis was still a teenager. In her book, “After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye,” Janis revealed that Marvin was a mentor and a father figure to her, and she felt a deep connection with him.
Jan Gaye and Marvin Gaye’s Marriage
Marvin Gaye and Janis Hunter got married in October 1977, after Marvin’s divorce from Anna Gordy Gaye. They had two children together; a son named Frankie Christian Gaye, born on November 16, 1975, and a daughter named Nona Marvisa Gaye, born on September 4, 1974. The couple seemed to be in love and happy, but unfortunately, their marriage was short-lived.
What happened to Jan Gaye after her relationship with Marvin Gaye ended?
Jan and Marvin’s marriage started to crumble soon after their second child was born. Marvin was dealing with addiction and personal issues, which affected their relationship. In addition, Marvin’s career was on a downward spiral, and he was facing financial difficulties. Janis tried to help him, but Marvin’s problems only grew worse, and he became increasingly abusive towards her.
In 1981, Janis filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was messy, with both parties accusing each other of infidelity and drug use. Marvin was also facing legal troubles at the time, and he was struggling with depression. Tragically, on April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., in Los Angeles, California.
After the divorce, Janis tried to move on with her life. She continued her modeling career and even appeared in a few movies. She also wrote a book about her relationship with Marvin, which was published in 1994. In the book, she talked about the ups and downs of their relationship and the struggles they faced as a couple.
In recent years, Janis has kept a low profile and has largely stayed out of the public eye. She has not spoken much about her relationship with Marvin, and it seems that she wants to keep her personal life private.
Breast Cancer Survivor
Janis was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-1990s. She underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and then underwent radiation therapy. Thankfully, the treatment was successful, and Janis was able to overcome her cancer. Hunter became an advocate for breast cancer awareness and encouraged other women to get regular check-ups.
Jan Gaye’s Death
Jan Hunter passed away on 3 December 2022, at the age of 66 at her home in Rhode Island. The cause of her death has not been publicly disclosed. Her passing was mourned by her family and fans of Marvin Gaye’s music around the world.
Jan Gaye’s Career
After her separation from Marvin, Janis tried to pursue a career in the music industry but was unable to make much of an impact. She released an album in 1986 titled “Spellbound,” which received mixed reviews and failed to make much of an impact commercially.
She then turned to writing and authored a book titled “After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye,” which was released in 1991. The book was well-received and gave fans an inside look into her relationship with Marvin and his struggles with addiction and mental health.
As an Actor
Jan Gaye began her acting career in the late 1970s, and her first role was in the film “Thank God It’s Friday” in 1978. She went on to appear in several other films, including “The Comedy of Terrors” in 1984 and “The Return of Superfly” in 1990. Janis also made guest appearances on various TV shows such as “Miami Vice,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “The A-Team.” Her most notable TV appearance was on the show “The Love Boat,” where she played a character named Laverne in 1981.
As a Singer
Aside from acting, Janis Hunter is also a talented singer and songwriter. She released her debut album, “Janis Hunter,” in 1977, which was produced by her then-husband, Marvin Gaye. The album received mixed reviews from critics but was well-received by fans. Janis went on to release another album, “Dreamstreet,” in 1981, which was also produced by Marvin Gaye. However, the album did not do well commercially.
Jan Gaye has made several public appearances over the years, both as an actress and a singer. She was present at the 1984 Grammy Awards ceremony, where Marvin Gaye won two awards for his hit song “Sexual Healing.” Janis also attended the premiere of the movie “The Return of Superfly” in 1990.
Income, Wealth, and Net Worth
Janis Hunter’s income, wealth, and net worth are not publicly available, but some sources estimate her net worth to be around $5 million (approx.). Jan Gaye’s main source of income is her acting and singing career. She has also earned money from her two albums and her appearances on TV shows and films.
Jan Gaye’s Height & Weight
Janis Hunter was a beautiful woman, with a striking appearance. She had a slim build and was of average height, standing at around 5’5” (1.65 m). On the other hand, her weight was approximately 68 kg.
Jan Gaye aka Janis Hunter’s relationship with Marvin Gaye and her subsequent book provided an intimate look into the legendary musician’s life. While she attempted to pursue a career in the music industry herself, it was short-lived, and she eventually turned to writing. Her current career and personal life are not known, but her involvement in legal disputes related to Marvin’s music has kept her name in the news over the years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Jan Gaye’s nationality?
Her nationality was American.
Did Jan Gaye have any children with Marvin Gaye?
Yes, Janis Hunter had two children with Marvin Gaye.
Who was Jan Gaye?
Jan Gaye aka Janis Hunter is an American former model, writer, and singer. She gained notoriety in the 1970s for her relationship with the famous soul singer Marvin Gaye.