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November 15, 1941
Washington, D.C. U.S
|Died||December 30, 2001
Los Angeles, California U.S.
Irene Duncan (1978–2001; his death)
Frances "Frankie" Gaye (November 15, 1941 – December 30, 2001) was an American recording artist and brother of American recording artist Marvin Gaye. Gaye's recollections of his tenure at the Vietnam War inspired Marvin's song "What's Happening Brother", from the album What's Going On.
Frances "Frankie" Gaye was born in Washington, D.C., the third of four children born to Alberta (née) Williams and Marvin Gay, Sr. in 1941. Both Frankie and elder brother Marvin sung, first in church and then with local doo-wop groups.
Frankie had several jobs in Washington, D.C. before answering the draft to serve his country during the Vietnam War at 25; he served as a radio disk jockey. In 1970, Frankie returned to civilian life in D.C. Emotional conversations between Frankie and Marvin over Frankie's horrific recollections of the war led to Marvin to compose the song "What's Happening Brother", later issued for Marvin's album, What's Going On, released in 1971.
Music career and killing of Marvin
Starting in the mid-1970s, Frankie began working with his brother, joining him on the road during Gaye's concert tours and sometimes, to test audience reactions, Marvin would place Frankie onstage first before he arrived. Like his brother and, later, their sister Zeola, Frankie added an "e" to his surname.
Frankie and his second wife (later widow), Irene, were next door to their parents' house on April 1, 1984, when Frankie's brother was shot and killed by their father after an argument.
In 1989, Frankie signed with Motorcity Records and recorded two singles, "Extraordinary Girl" and "My Brother". The latter song featured in the 1990 album of the same name.
Final years and death
In 1999, Frankie worked on his memoirs, Marvin Gaye: My Brother. The book was scheduled to be released in 2002 when Frankie died of complications following a heart attack on December 30, 2001 at the age of 60; however, the book was later posthumously released in 2003. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).
In 1972, Frankie relocated to Los Angeles where he married his first wife, Judy Tench; the couple had two daughters, Christy and Denise. After their divorce, Frankie began dating a woman named Irene Duncan after meeting her in London. They married in 1978 and had three children, daughters April (b. 1983) and Fiona (b. 1993) and son Frankie, Jr. (b. 1992). Marvin's youngest child, Frankie Christian, was named after Frankie.
- 1979: Penitentiary
- 1990: My Brother
- 1996: The Very Best of Frankie Gaye
- 1989: "Extraordinary Girl"
- 1990: "My Brother"
- Google Book Search: "Marvin Gaye, My Brother", (2003) by Frankie Gaye
- Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 17112). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.