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Marvin Gaye's Sister Zeola Forgives Her Father For Killing The R&B Legend

04/01/2015 12:45 pm ET | Updated Apr 01, 2015

On April 1, 1984, Motown legend Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father Marvin P. Gay Sr., on the eve of the singer's 45th birthday.

Gaye's younger sister Zeola joined HuffPost Live on Tuesday, just before the 31st anniversary of the Grammy Award-winner's death, and fondly remembered her brother. She said that even though her father fired the shot that ended her brother's life, she has forgiven him.

"I had to. Because you know what? The bottom line is he was my father. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," she told host Nancy Redd. "So 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."

Gaye said she was one of the few family members that lent her father a helping hand after Marvin died. Gay Sr., who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, had developed a benign tumor and later caught pneumonia before he died.

"He needed some help. I had to help him. And I was the only one who actually did that, other than my niece Angie," she said. "We had to take care of him and we had to take care of our mom and a lot fell on us. And I wish that he had not killed Marvin but it happened."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Zeola Gaye on HuffPost Live.

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  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    LONDON - 1964: R&B singer Marvin Gaye holds court at a press conference at Heathrow Airport in circa 1964 as he arrives in London, England. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • GAB Archive via Getty Images
    Photo of Marvin GAYE and Tammi TERRELL; Posed portrait of Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
  • Echoes via Getty Images
    Photo of Marvin GAYE, Posed studio portrait of Marvin Gaye (Photo by Echoes/Redferns)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    R&B singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait leaning against a mo-ped scooter in circa 1967. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    Soul singer Marvin Gaye enjoys an ice cream cone as he strolls down the boardwalk in circa 1965 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • David Redfern via Getty Images
    Photo of Marvin GAYE, Marvin Gaye performing on tv show (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    R&B singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait in circa 1964 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    R&B singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait in circa 1964 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    R&B singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait in circa 1964 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    R&B singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait backstage at the Apollo Theater with female R&B vocal group 'Martha & The Vandellas' (Betty Kelly, Rosalind Ashford, and Martha Reeves) in 1962 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    &B singer Marvin Gaye plays piano at Freedomland Amusement Park in 1964 in Bronx, New York. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Donaldson Collection via Getty Images
    Soul singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait on June 5, 1963 in New York City, New York. (Photo by PoPsie Randolph/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    (L-R) Charles Barksdale, Marvin Gaye, James Nolan, Reese Palmer, Chester Simmons, and Harvey Fuqua (seated) of the doo wop group 'The Moonglows' pose for a portrait in 1959. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Jim Britt via Getty Images
    Soul singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye at Golden West Studios in 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jim Britt/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
  • Gilles Petard via Getty Images
    Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye around a microphone at the Motown recording studio in Detroit in 1965 in the United States. (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
  • Gems via Getty Images
    USA Photo of Marvin GAYE, Portrait of Marvin Gaye, wearing hat (Photo by Gems/Redferns)
  • Jim Britt via Getty Images
    Soul singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye at Golden West Studios in 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jim Britt/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
  • GAB Archive via Getty Images
    Photo of Marvin GAYE; Marvin Gaye portrait (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
  • Pictorial Parade via Getty Images
    Headshot of American soul singer Marvin Gaye (1939 - 1984), wearing a knit cap, 1977. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    R&B singer Marvin Gaye poses for a portrait at an event on October 31, Halloween of circa 1977 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Rob Verhorst via Getty Images
    Marvin Gaye performs on stage at De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1st July 1980. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
  • Ebet Roberts via Getty Images
    RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL Photo of Marvin GAYE, Marvin Gaye performing on stage, barechested (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
  • David Corio via Getty Images
    ROYAL ALBERT HALL Photo of Marvin GAYE, Marvin Gaye at Royal Albert Hall, London 1979 (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)
  • Ebet Roberts via Getty Images
    RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL Photo of Marvin GAYE, Marvin Gaye performing on stage, barechested (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
  • Ron Galella via Getty Images
    Marvin Gaye (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
  • NBC via Getty Images
    MOWTOWN 25: YESTERDAY, TODAY, FOREVER -- Pictured: Marvin Gaye -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
  • Betty Galella via Getty Images
    Marvin Gaye and children Frankie and Nona (Photo by Betty Galella/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
  • David Corio via Getty Images
    ROYAL ALBERT HALL Photo of Marvin GAYE, Marvin Gaye at Royal Albert Hall, London 1979 (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)
  • Ed Caraeff via Getty Images
    Soul singer Marvin Gaye plays in a celebrity basketball game at The Forum for The Soulville Foundation in August, 1977 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ed Caraeff/Getty Images)
  • John Minihan via Getty Images
    6th October 1976: American soul singer Marvin Gaye (1939 - 1984) walking ahead of his Rolls Royce in Notting Hill, London. (Photo by John Minihan/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
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