I was never a real fan of Teena Marie’s music, but one can acknowledge her unique talent and presence in the world of R&B…
Teena Marie, the “Ivory Queen of Soul” who developed a lasting legacy with her silky soul pipes and with hits like “Lovergirl,” “Square Biz,” and “Fire and Desire” with mentor Rick James, died on Sunday. She was 54.
A statement from Pasadena police said the death appeared to be from natural causes. The police and fire department were called to her home after family members found her unresponsive.
In an interview with The Associated Press last year, Teena Marie said she had successfully battled an addiction to prescription drugs; she went on tour last year to support her last album, “Congo Square.”
Marie certainly wasn’t the first white act to sing soul music, but she was arguably among the most gifted and respected, and was thoroughly embraced by the black audience.
Even before she started her musical career, she had a strong bond with the black community, which she credited to her godmother. She gravitated to soul music and in her youth decided to make it her career.
Marie made her debut on the legendary Motown label back in 1979, becoming one of the very few white acts to break the race barrier of the groundbreaking black-owned record label that had been a haven for black artists like Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, the Supremes and Marvin Gaye. More…
- Singer Teena Marie, ‘Ivory Queen of Soul,’ dies at 54 (ctv.ca)
- R&B queen Teena Marie dies at 54 (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- UF Pays Tribute to R&B Songstress Teena Marie (uptownflavor.com)
- Teena Marie Dies! (popcrunch.com)
- ‘Lovergirl’ R&B singer Teena Marie dies at 54 (pbpulse.com)
- R&B Teena Marie (Rick James’ Protégée) Found Dead (current.com)