Nona Gaye (born September 4, 1974) is an American singer, former fashion model and actress, and the daughter of soul music legend Marvin Gaye. She played Zee in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, taking over the role after Aaliyah died.

Birth and Early LifeEdit

Nona Gaye was born on September 4, 1974 in Washington, D.C. and the she the only daughter by parents singer Marvin Gaye and wife Janis Gaye, famous R&B and jazz musicians and singers throughout the late 1950s to mid-1980s. As a baby, Nona was brought out on stage by her father during a concert and by the age of eight, she formally introduced her father on Soul Train during a tribute episode to the singer.

Music and Modeling CareerEdit

Nona Gaye and Prince

Nona Gaye and Prince duet in singing "Love Sign".

Being inspired by her parents, Nona pursued a music career by the early 1990s. By the age of 18, Nona released "Love for the Future" in 1992, which included the top 20 hit "I'm Overjoyed".

The following year, Gaye was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. She signed to Ford Modeling Agency in 1994, and became the new face of Armani.

For the following three years, Nona has dated pop singer, Prince, and during this time, she recorded at least four songs with him. A duet, "1000 Hugs and Kisses" and solo track, "Snowman" are currently unreleased, but have made their way into circulation among fans. Another duet, "Love Sign", was released on the 1-800-NEW-FUNK compilation album in 1994, along with another track with no Prince contribution, "A Woman's Gotta Have It". Gaye has candidly admitted that during this time she had a long personal battle with drug abuse which she successfully kicked in 1996.

Acting CareerEdit

Nona appeared alongside other artists to re-record and release her father's single, "What's Going On" for AIDS research in 2001. However, during that same year, she appeared in her first major role in the film, Ali, with co-star Will Smith even though she had no acting experience.

From then on, Nona started to appear in many different films while still working on her music career. Today has not been in much films and only lightly continued her music career.

The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix RevolutionsEdit

Nona Gaye Aaliyah

Aaliyah, the original actress to play Zee before her death in 2001.

In 2001, hip-hop artist and dancer, Aaliyah, was cast for the role Zee in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. After filming began that same year, Aaliyah died by a plane crash traveling from Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco Islands, The Bahamas, to the Opa-locka Airport in Florida after she and many other members of the music company completed filming the music video for the single "Rock the Boat".

Lana and Lilly Wachowski felt remorse after the death of Aaliyah but decided to recast for the character Zee. One year later, the Wachowskis discovered Nona through her musical talents and her background in music. Noticing that Nona was similar to Aaliyah, the Wachowskis chose Nona to play the role of Zee.

Nona Gaye and Zee

Nona Gaye as Zee.

Since filming had already begun, the Wachowskis had to re-film scenes that Aaliyah shot during their filming one year ago with the newly cast Nona.

Nona claimed that she, at that point, have never played such a strong and exciting character. She also said that playing these "action" roles is very exciting and she wanted to do more films within the action and drama genre.

For the years to come, Nona would attain roles in such films like xXx: State of the Union and Crash.

Return to Film and MusicEdit

After filming the two Matrix sequels, Nona continued to work on her acting career but only appearing in a few films by years while at the same time, continuing her career in music as well.

However, in an interview, Nona claimed that she will return to acting and continue music soon as she said, "My music will always reflect upon my family's legacy or people's expectations", Nona told Interview Magazine in 2001. "But acting's all mine."


  • Harlem Nights (1989)
  • Ali (2001)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
  • The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
  • The Polar Express (2004)
  • xXx: State of the Union (2005)
  • Crash (2005)
  • The Gospel (2005)
  • Blood and Bone (2009)


  • Granddaughter of the late Cuban jazz great Slim Gaillard.
  • Goddaughter of funk legend Rick James.
  • Nona is of African-American, Irish, Greek, and Afro-Cuban descent.

External linksEdit

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