|Born:||September 4, 1974|
Washington, DC, USA
Nona Marvisa Gaye (born September 4, 1974) is an American singer, former fashion model, and screen actress. The daughter of soul music legend Marvin Gaye and granddaughter of jazz great Slim Gaillard, she began her career as a vocalist in the early 1990s, moving into acting in the 2000s, most notably in The Matrix film series.
Early life and career
Born into a mixed heritage of African-American, Irish, and questionable descent of either Afro-Cuban or Greek, Gaye was born in Washington, D.C., the only daughter of singer Marvin Gaye and second wife Janis Hunter Gaye. She is Marvin's second child - her older brother Marvin III (sometimes referred to as Marvin Gaye, Jr.) was from Gaye's first marriage to Anna Gordy, older sister of Motown Records founder and label executive Berry Gordy, while her younger brother Frankie was born within a year after her. As a baby, Nona was brought out on stage by her father during a concert. At eight, she formally introduced her father on Soul Train during a tribute episode to the singer.
Nona released her first album, Love for the Future, on Atlantic Records in 1992, a month after her 18th birthday. The album featured the top 20 hit "I'm Overjoyed" as well as "The Things That We All Do for Love." The following year, Nona was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. She signed to Ford Modeling Agency in 1994, and became the new face of Armani.
For three years, Gaye both collaborated with and dated singer-songwriter Prince (his stage name at that time being an unpronounceable symbol). During this time, she recorded at least four known songs with him. A duet, "1000 Hugs and Kisses" and solo track, "Snowman" are currently unreleased, but have made their way into circulation amongst fans. Another duet, "Love Sign", was released on the 1-800-NEW-FUNK compilation album in 1994, along with another track with no Prince contribution, "A Woman's Gotta Have It". Gaye provided backing vocals on "We March" for Prince's 1995 album, The Gold Experience, and on the title track to the Girl 6 soundtrack, released in 1996. Gaye has candidly admitted that during this time she had a long personal battle with drug abuse which she successfully kicked in 1996.
In addition to these projects, she starred in a Prince-produced European TV special called The Beautiful Experience, consisting of a loose storyline to promote new material from Prince (most of which would be released at some point over the next few years). She was also mentioned on the track "Return of the Bumpsquad", on the New Power Generation album, Exodus, as wanting "to sell her tape", indicating a possible album's worth of material with Prince.
Nona appeared alongside other artists to re-record and release her father's single, "What's Going On" for AIDS research in 2001. The same year, she began her acting career, debuting in Michael Mann]]'s Ali. In 2002, she replaced Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash shortly after the filming of the Matrix sequels began, for the role of Zee, the wife of Harold Perrineau Jr.'s character Link.
She performed the American National Anthem in front of a capacity crowd at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game in Staples Center, CA. 21 years after her father had done the same at the 1983 All-Star Game at The Forum in Inglewood.
In July 2006, Gaye was added to the cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent as a replacement for Courtney B. Vance as the new Assistant District Attorney. However, just as the series began production for its sixth season, she left the show, citing "creative differences". Gaye was replaced by Theresa Randle, who left after filming only two shows.
With ex-boyfriend Justin Martinez, Gaye has a son named Nolan, who was born in June 1997.
- Harlem Nights (1989)
- Ali (2001)
- The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
- The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
- The Polar Express (2004)
- XXX: State of the Union (2005)
- Crash (2005)
- The Gospel (2005)
- Black Reel Awards
- 2006, Best Actress: The Gospel (Nominated)
- 2002, Best Supporting Actress: Ali (Winner)
- Image Awards
- 2004, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: The Matrix Revolutions (Nominated)
- Love For The Future (Third Stone/Atlantic, 1992)
- "I'm Overjoyed" (Third Stone/Atlantic, 1992)
- "Things We All Do For Love" (Third Stone/Atlantic, 1993)
- "Love Sign (duet with Prince)" (NPG, 1994)