Gaye married twice. His first marriage was to Berry Gordy Jr.'s sister,Anna Gordy, who was 18 years his senior. Marvin and Anna were married on January 8, 1964 when Gaye was 24 and Gordy was 42. The marriage imploded after Marvin began courtingJanis Hunter, the daughter of Slim Gaillard, in 1973. Anna filed for divorce in 1975; the divorce was finalized in March 1977. Gaye's erotic and disco-tinged studio album I Want You was based on his relationship with Hunter. In his book Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves, and Demons of Marvin Gaye, author and music writer Michael Eric Dyson elaborated on the relationship between I Want You and the relationship Gaye had with Hunter, which influenced his music:
"I Want You" is unmistakably a work of romantic and erotic tribute to the woman he deeply loved and would marry shortly, Janis Hunter (Janis Gaye). Gaye's obsession with the woman in her late teens is nearly palpable in the sensual textures that are the album's aural and lyrical signature. Their relationship was relentlessly passionate and emotionally rough-hewn; they played up each other's strengths, and played off each other's weaknesses.
In October 1976, he married Janis, who was 17 years old when they met. However, the marriage dissolved within a year. After attempts at reconciliation, Janis filed for divorce in 1979. The divorce was finalized in February 1981.
Gaye had three children. Marvin Pentz Gaye III (born 1965), by Denise Gordy, the niece of his first wife Anna Gordy. Marvin III was also adopted by his first wife Anna. The singer disclosed this in David Ritz's biography on Gaye, Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye, saying he was afraid of being criticized for not producing a child. Later, Gaye had two children with Janis Hunter,Nona Marvisa, nicknamed "Pie" by her dad (born September 4, 1974) and Frankie "Bubby" Christian Gaye (born November 16, 1975).
***Denise Gordy is Bianca Lawson's mother.