Alberta Gay

Family Member

Birthday January 1, 1913

Birth Sign Capricorn

Birthplace Rocky Mount, NC

DEATH DATE May 9, 1987 (74)

#126047 Most Popular


Best known as the mother of legendary R&B singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye, she witnessed her famous son's 1984 murder at the hands of his father (and her husband), Marvin Gay, Sr.

Before Fame

She was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and she had a troubled childhood, during which her father fired a non-fatal shot at her mother. She was not allowed to attend school until she was the age of a typical third-grader.


She supported her family by working as a housekeeper in Virginia and Maryland.

Family Life

She divorced Marvin Gay, Sr. after he shot and killed their son following an argument. Her nearly fifty-year marriage to Gay produced three other children in addition to Marvin: Jeanne, Frankie, and Zeola.

Associated With

Her son Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Gay) is remembered for such hits as "Sexual Healing" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."