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Marvin Gaye's Sister Zeola Said She Managed to Forgive Alcoholic Father for Killing Her Brother

Monica Otayza
Aug 25, 2021
06:06 A.M.
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Marvin Gaye's life was tragically cut short after his own father shot him in April 1984. Despite the trauma, his sister Zeola once revealed that she had forgiven her father and even lent him a helping hand before his death.


Marvin Gaye was a Motown soul singer in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, a dispute between him and his father ended his life early, on the event of his 45th birthday.

Despite his success, Marvin struggled greatly with substance abuse and bouts of depression. After his last tour, he moved into his parents' house where he and his father often had violent fights and quarrels.



On April 1, 1984, the singer reportedly tried to intervene in a fight between his parents, and his father ended up fatally shooting him. Marvin Sr. claimed he acted in self-defense, but in court, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

It turns out, the violence actually started when Marvin and his siblings were children. Their father was an excessive drinker with violent outbursts towards his children.



Just before the 31st anniversary of the Grammy Award-winner’s death back in 2015, Marvin's sister Zeola opened up about her relationship with her late father. She revealed that even though her father ended his own son's life, she has forgiven him. She said:

“I felt that, what he did, like I said, not condoning it in any form or fashion, that is something he would have to answer to with God.”

Marvin Gaye's sister Zeola Gaye visits FOX 29's "Good Day" to promote "My Brother Marvin" | Source: Getty Images



Although she expressed regret over her dad killing Marvin, the star's sister admitted to being one of the few family members who cared for her father when he needed it most.

At the time, Marvin Sr. developed what turned out to be a benign tumor and caught pneumonia, which led to his death. Zeola revealed that aside from her, only her niece Angie helped him.

Marvin Gaye performs live on stage at Jaap Edenhal in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1978 | Source: Getty Images



The R&B legend began his career in the late 1950s and it spanned until his untimely death in 1984. His hits include “Let's Get It On," “I Heard It Through The Grapevine," and “How Sweet It Is."

Marvin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three years after his death, cementing his reputation as one of music's greats. He created art despite his troubled life, recording songs to suit people's needs more than anything else.

Marvin Gaye performs on stage at the Holiday Star Theater Indiana | Source: Getty Images



In March 2021, Marvin and Zeola's sister Jeanne passed away at 87 after a short illness. Zeola, the only surviving sibling of the Gaye family, made sure to remember her sister in a sweet way, expressing how much she would miss her. She said:

“I remember so well how she and Marvin would compete with each other in everything, in most cases Marvin would win… Jeanne– sometimes."

She went on to say that Jeanne would be missed, especially by her two daughters, Angela and Donna. Zeola then bid her farewell, saying her sister was now reunited with "Mom, Marvin, Frankie, and Mike."

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