Grammy nominated soul singer Teena Marie, known for hits like “Square Biz” and “Lovergirl,” was found dead Sunday at her California home. According to the singer’s manager Mike Gardner, her daughter found her after she had died in sleep. While no cause of death has been released, but her publicist Lynn Jeter did mention that Marie suffered a grand mal seizure a month ago which she was still recovering from. She was only 54 years old.
Born Mary Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, California, Teena Marie, affectionally known as “Lady T” was a powerhouse performer with a larger than life voice. Famously paired with late funk legend Rick James, she rose to fame in the late 1970s and 80s after becoming the first white artist signed to Motown Records. Her debut album, Wild and Peaceful, scored Marie her first top-ten R&B slot with the Rick James duet, “I’m Just a Sucker for Your Love.” However, the album sleeve and packaging showed no picture of Teena Marie as Motown was afraid that black audiences might be reluctant to buy an album by a white artist. Needless to say, the record company was wrong. Teena Marie’s race was proven not to be factor in the public’s willingness to embrace the multi-talented singer who also played the rhythm guitar, keyboards and congas.
Teena Marie released 13 studio albums, six of which went platinum on the US R&B chart. Her biggest hit came in 1984 with her single “Lovergirl.” She sang under various record labels, including Motown, Epic, Stax and Cash Money Records. Her latest album, Congo Square, was released in 2009. Until the time of her death, Teena Marie was still performing regularly. She was often a headliner on the Las Vegas Strip and in the studio recording new material.
The death of Teena Marie comes as a shock to fans all over the world. She is being remembered and celebrated as one of the greatest soul singers of our time. She made music from her heart that will continue to live on and inspire generations to come. While her death may have been sudden, Teena Marie did not leave us empty-handed. We still have the gift of music and for that we are truly grateful. Rest in peace, Lady T! We love you!
Teena Marie feat. Rick James – I’m A Sucker For Your Love
From the 1979 album, Wild and Peaceful
Teena Marie – Square Biz
From the 1981 album, It Must Be Magic
Teena Marie – Lovergirl (Extended Version)
From the 1984 album, Starchild
Image Layout by Phaymiss
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